In all the Christmas hubbub, don’t forget about Advent. That’s the four Sundays before Christmas when we focus on events of Jesus’ birth. We’ve already looked at Prophecy and how Mary and Joseph got to Bethlehem. This Sunday we focus on the shepherds. Have you ever wondered what it was like on the fields outside of Bethlehem that night?
It had been a busy day for Nathan and the other shepherds. Finally, the day was done and the flock was settled down for the night. After supper, he laid down by the fire and soon was fast asleep.
Suddenly, something woke him up. When he opened his eyes, he was blinded by a dazzling bright light. What was happening? Was this an attack? Then, he began to see that there was something in the bright light… something that looked like an angel! Then, he heard a loud voice say, “Do not be afraid. I have great news for everyone. Today, in the town of Bethlehem, a Savior has been born for you. He is Christ the Lord. You will find a baby lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the whole sky exploded in light as thousands of angels streaked through the skies over Bethlehem. They began praising God, “Glory to God in the highest,” they said, “ and on earth peace to men of good will. ” It was the most glorious thing Nathan had ever seen or heard.
All too soon, they were gone and the sky was empty and black. The shepherds looked at each other in wonder. “Let’s go see what the angel was talking about.”, they said. They left their flocks, which is very “unshepherdish”, and ran to Bethlehem. There, they found the stable with Mary and Joseph and the baby in a manger just as the angel had said. In awe they knelt down before the baby in the manger and worshiped him. As they left Bethlehem, they told everyone what they had seen and heard that night.
Later, Nathan realized how amazing it was that God had sent His angels to shepherds! Shepherds!… the poorest, smelliest, most disrespected bunch of folks in Israel! Yet, God chose them to be the first to hear His great news. What Nathan didn’t understand was that everyone is equally important to God! It is no different today.
“When we were utterly helpless with no way of escape, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners who had no use for Him.” Romans 5:6 (The Living Bible)