Shepherds of no real interest

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Since the world has deconstructed Christmas to nothing more than a single sentimental day-gathering which involves spending lots of money, we turn to God’s Word for more accurate information. As we live in a world which places great importance upon personal recognition and acknowledgement by others, Shepherds of no real interestwe look to God for the qualities which He prioritises. It turns out, more often than not, God uses people of no fame, who have no spectacular abilities, and receive no public recognition. Such were a small group of nobody shepherds God chose to notify first about the birth of Jesus.

Yes, Christmas is all about JESUS. And every person in the Bible connected with the coming of God’s Son simply serve to amplify the greatness of Immanuel’s entrance into humanity (Mat 1:23).

Only Doctor Luke slips the record of this group of shepherds into Luke 2:8-20. Virtually nothing is known of them; no names, no group numbers, and no background information, they simply appear. They were doing what they always did, caring for sheep in the countryside somewhere near Bethlehem. Unexpectedly, the quiet dark of night was abruptly interrupted by the appearance of an angel surrounding them with the glory of the Lord. The angel announces, for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11).

As if that was not enough, suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:13-14). Understandably, the shepherds were filled with great fear (Luke 2:9). The angel informed them where this baby Saviour was, and curiosity inspired by the anthem of angels singing in the sky caused them to leave their sheep in pursuit of Jesus. Their lives would never by the same. They believed and became the first respondents to heaven stepping into their small and seemingly insignificant part of the world.

These shepherds did not delay. There was no personal evaluation of beliefs, no approval from others was sought, and there was no procrastination; they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger (Luke 2:16).

Being first to arrive, even before the important Magi, they stepped into the animal stall at the rear of the local Inn, where Christ the Lord lay in the animal feeding trough. Every facet of this reeked of humility without any of the glitz and glamour our modern-day minds would imagine. These ordinary shepherds introduced themselves to Mary and Joseph with the amazing story of the angel’s announcement.

Just as the angels announced Jesus’ arrival with praise, so these shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen (Luke 2:20). These shepherds were the first Christmas evangelists. They were not the focus of their own stories. Their feelings were not up for public appraisal. No, they simply couldn’t keep the good news to themselves, others had to hear of it. They didn’t simply speak in a matter-of-fact manner about the events. No, they glorified and praised God for all they had witnessed and been enveloped in.

Today, we ordinary people of this world have the privilege and opportunity to proclaim the Jesus of Christmas. Like the shepherds, we get to be Christmas evangelists, declaring that Jesus came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). We get to praise and glorify God for the gift of His Saviour Son – may we do this with much joy!

P.S.   I now sign off “The Pastor’s Pen” for 2020 and shall join you again in February 2021 should the Lord not return first. I pray the Lord keeps you safe and well as you rejoice in Him over this Christmas period.