Shepherds

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And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And 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 2:8-14)
 
Jesus is born and the news goes out with rejoicing and praising and angels! This is news to shout about… but… to shepherds? Surely this news is better suited to palaces, temples and capital cities? Not night-covered fields, livestock, and a collection of scraggly shepherds.  
 
If we still don’t quite get the fact that God chooses unlikely people, poor people, small people, people who are frail and unknown, then He once again upsets our expectations and desire for grandeur and greatness. Once more God whispers (or perhaps shouts) that His glory has nothing to do with our notions of grandeur. God chooses whom He chooses. Just a quick glance through the Bible makes that obviously clear. David, Joshua, Peter and the rest of His disciples are perfect examples of God using the weak and unqualified to fulfill His purposes.
 
And on this night, he chooses to make the most important announcement since the earth began - the King is born! - to shepherds whose care and watchfulness over their flocks is a reflection of God’s own care over his people.
 
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake...
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
forever. (Psalms 23:1-3 & 6)
 
How grateful are we for Christmas - where we celebrate our Lord making Himself small, so that He can be not only our Shepherd, but also the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
 

--Sharyn (with credit to Laurel Moffatt and The Bible Society, 12 December 2017)

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Ponderings

04 January 2018
27 December 2017
23 December 2017
12 December 2017
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