Imagine being one of those shepherds that first Christmas day – you’re minding your own business tending sheep on a Palestine hillside, perhaps nodding off a little and all of a sudden in the pitch black of the night a great bright light appears !! God has sent His angels to tell YOU that the Messiah has come, WOW ! In fact its a little humorous that the Holy Spirit through Luke recorded the little word “lo” in Lk.2:9, “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them. . . ” The word serves as a stark contrast to the norm of that first Christmas night and also demands our attention too as the peaceful, usual and more than likely boring circumstances shift to the exact opposites.
Is it any wonder that the part of verse nine I left out comes next: “. . .and they were sore afraid” !!! Can we say understatement?? In the words of Mr. Rogers, “I knew you could !” Their understandable reaction prompts the angel to say, “Fear not” at first. Easy for you to say, they may have been thinking, as they sat stunned and wondering where they could run at this point. Why should we not be afraid? The rest of verse 10: “for behold (there’s that word again that was translated “lo”), I bring you good tidings of great (mega in Greek) joy, which shall be to all people.”
Just like those shepherds you are minding your own business, chugging through life, trying to make it one day at a time and all of a sudden God allows something to enter your life that stuns you, grabs your attention and you know He’s up to something ! But like those guys you’re fearful, you are alarmed, stressed, wondering which way to turn, where can I run and hide?? God’s Word still cries out as to these peasants with the same Christmas message: Don’t be afraid, its all good for you as long as you listen and learn.
That’s exactly what these men did. They heard out the message from the Lord and were obedient to it: “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known to us. And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.” (vss.15-16). What if they hadn’t obeyed the message? They would’ve missed out big time ! They wouldn’t have seen what they saw the night of the first noel. Who knows in the midst of your visitations from God what joys await you too as you listen and learn. Is there someone you need to go and invite to church this christmas season, do it today ! Perhaps someone you could bring a meal to Christmas day and take a little time to visit? Last year my wife and I did that and what a joy it was, we actually were privileged to lead a soul to Christ on Christmas day !!
So like those shepherds listen and learn and go do the Lord’s bidding there’s no telling what He will show you when you do !!