And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,“Glory to God in the highest heaven,and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Letʼs go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
Can you just picture this scene that first Christmas? Shepherding was a lowly occupation. These men spent weeks at a time, both day and night, living among their sheep~a smelly, dirty job. They slept with their sheep and probably smelled just like them. They were uneducated and unappreciated~forgotten.
This night started just like every other night for them. They were probably tired from guarding their sheep, animals that tended to easily wander off. Picture the shepherds dirty and tired, huddled around a fire attempting to stay warm. Perhaps they were despondent, possibly hopeless that their life would ever improve. The days ahead stretched out with nothing but the same sheep, the same issues and problems day after day.
Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them.
God’s radiant glory suddenly burst into the shepherds’ dark and lonely night. God chose to bring the great news of the birth of His son to these lowliest of men first! What blessing~what honor~what love!
God still works this same way. He comes to us in the midst of our daily grind and surrounds us with the radiance of His glory. When we are at our lowest point, God reminds us of His Good News~we have a Savior who loves us and came to earth to save us! That should be our focus this Christmas season. Don’t become so distracted by the hustle and bustle of the season that you miss witnessing God’s radiant glory!
Breathe in His love…exhale all your struggles…
God shines His glory even in the midst of your every day life. Pause today and breathe in deeply of His wonderful peace and love!
1. How do you think this visit from the angels affected the shepherds’ hearts?
2. When have you recognized God’s glory personally in your life? How did it affect you?
3. What can you do today to invite God to surround you with His radiant glory?
Heavenly Father~I am always amazed that the greatest news You brought to mankind, You delivered first to the lowly shepherds. I feel humbled that not only do You notice the lowly and overlooked, in fact, You honor them. Thank You for sending Your glory from heaven and placing it among us through the gift of Your Son, Jesus. Through His life, you allowed us a glimpse of You. During this Christmas season surround us with Your radiant glory so we can shine Your light of hope to the world. In Jesus’ name we pray…Amen!