Thank You for the shepherds, Who heard of Jesus’ birth. They saw the angels in the sky Announcing peace on earth! Thank You for the shepherds, Your precious Christmas gift. —A Christmas Prayer
When we hear the story of the shepherds, there’s that iconic scene: shepherds on a hillside, gazing at the angels in the air, who are praising God and announcing peace on earth. What a glorious sight that must have been! Oh, what I would have given to be a shepherd that night!
Today, as I was reading back through the scene in Luke 2, a couple of new things came to light.
One, it’s what the first angel says. Before the multitude arrives, there’s just “an angel.” He tells the shepherds not to be afraid. (Why are we so scared of angels?!) And then this: “Today your Savior was born” (verse 11 ICB). I wonder how differently people would feel about Christmas if an angel came down from heaven and approached each and every one of them: “Today YOUR savior was born.” I bet there would be a whole lot more, “HEY! Did ya hear? It’s Christmas! Today, my savior was born!”
The second thing that jumped out at me was after the angels left. The shepherds turned to each other and said, “Let us go to Bethlehem” (v. 15). There was no theological debate, no whining about the long walk, no calling the kennel for the sheep. “Let us go.” What an amazing gift to the shepherds, to be of the first to hear, “Today your Savior was born.” For those who’ve experienced that same joy, “Let us go” and worship and never forget the impact of those words. And, just as importantly, there are many who have a void where that joy should be. They haven’t yet received the message that on Christmas Day, a Savior was born for them too.