And in the same area there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And then an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were very afraid. But the angel said to them, “Listen! Do not fear. For I bring you good news of great joy, which will be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign to you: You will find the Baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
Suddenly there was with the angel a company of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, and good will toward men.”
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they came hurrying and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in a manger. When they had seen Him, they made widely known the word which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2:8-20 MEV
Beloved, Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I love everything that this season reminds, renders, and represents. Yes, I am fully aware that this jubilant season is filled with an exorbitant amount of chaos, but that’s one of the central elements of Christmas.
The Christ child was born in the midst of national and local chaos and confusion. At that time, the government declared a national census that caused tremendous family disruptions and stress. This is the primary reason Joseph and a pregnant Mary were traveling to Bethlehem, and the source of the housing crisis that rendered this young couple unable to find a room in the inn. The birth of Christ was in the center of a tumultuous time.
However, Joseph, Mary, Jesus and countless others were not the only ones affected by these chaotic events. The Bible reminds us that out in the fields shepherds were working at night, when out of nowhere chaos was brought to their pristine and serene environment.
An angel appeared in the sky, brighter and clearer than an 85 inch QLED Samsung TV with Dolby surround sound, blasting the greatest news ever proclaimed in the world.
“For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” v.11
Then the entire sky was filled with the presence of angelic hosts, only visible to their eyes, praising God and saying words ooooh so wonderful to sinful human ears.
“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, and good will toward men.” v.14
Yet, it is the response of the shepherds that captures my attention. When they heard this great, glorious, and Good News, they did three things, which I pray we would pay attention to, practice, and promote beginning this Christmas.
They said to one another Let’s Go (v. 15), Let’s Spread (v.17), and Let’s Praise (v.20).
They investigated and found that the Angels’ words were true! When everything was fact-checked, they spread the news to all who would hear. Finally, they rejoiced that they were counted worthy to witness with their own eyes the Savior of the World.
Do you believe the report? Then this Christmas, in the midst of the chaos and confusion, go and do likewise.
Merry Christmas to each of you, and may the joy of Jesus overflow your hearts with praise!
Lord, return to us the joy of your salvation. May we become better disciples, better witnesses, and better worshipers.
In Jesus’ name, Amen!