Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Shepherds, By Sarah K.

The Shepherds

By Sarah K.

Merry Christmas! Those are the words on everyone's lips this time of year. For Christians especially, this time of year is special... Jesus, Almighty God, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, came down for US! To save... to die. That first night certainly was amazing. The part of the Christmas story that has recently fascinated me though, are the shepherds: "And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night." Think about it. These are smelly, uneducated, shepherds who had to watch boring, dirty sheep sleep and eat ALL NIGHT LONG. They had to watch for wolves, thieves, and anything else that might want a nice sheep for themselves. All for no pay, no recognition. If you wanted to find the bottom of society -they were it.

"An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified." This verse is absolutely astounding in its simplicity. There were shepherds. With sheep. Oh, and then there was an angel of God. Just like that! Chosen, out of all the people in Bethlehem, who were probably higher up the food chain, more devout, more polished, more, well, everything. But God chose them, the simple shepherds, the invisible ones. They alone were chosen to witness God's awe-inspiring glory...and hear His Promise to man. They were some of the first to be told that the long-awaited Messiah was here; on earth.

"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord....Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Why them? We'll never know why God chose them specifically...but we do know that He "chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him." (I Corinthians 1:18, emphasis added)

The wonderful thing about these shepherds is that they didn't doubt what the angel said, but went straight to see Jesus, and to worship him. "The shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen which were just as they had been told." Their lives were never the same after that, I'm sure. Just as our lives are never the same after God touches us. God has taken us, the foolish, weak, despised and lowly - and shown us His love and power every day. He came down weak and despised and lowly for we can find ultimate satisfaction in bringing "Glory to God in the highest" (Verses from Luke 2:8-20 unless noted.)


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