In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
What an incredible announcement! What makes it even more incredible is who was receiving this announcement. Shepherds would not have been the first group of people I would have thought of to tell about the birth of Jesus. I know when I have an important announcement to make I usually tell the people closest to me first. In these days, shepherds were not known for their religious excellence or their prominence in society. They were known for being dirty and dishonest people. Yet, those are the people God sent an angel to, with such great news.
This part of the Christmas story gives us many reasons to rejoice at the birth of Christ. One of the things it shows us is that God always knows where we are and will always come find us there. These shepherds were out with their sheep in the middle of the night, very easily could have been in the middle of no where. Yet, God knew right where they were – darkness and all. The birth of Jesus is a reminder that God knows where we are and that He will not just sit back and wait for us to come to Him, He will come to us with the Good News of Jesus.
God’s presence in our world is reason to rejoice. These shepherds were afraid at first. Probably because there was a bright light and an angel out in the middle of no where in the middle of the night. But, there may be times in our life where we find ourselves afraid and in the dark. Let this be a season where we are reminded that we don’t need to live in fear. Jesus is here with us. Our Savior has come.
Let’s spend a little extra time rejoicing in the arrival of Jesus. Let’s make sure to celebrate His birth. But, take time to also rejoice and celebrate that He has come into your life too. He can be our personal Savior. These angels gave this message, personally, to the shepherds. God, through Jesus, has also brought this Good News personally to you as well. Rejoice and do not be afraid because Jesus has come for you today!
Pastor Matt Huff leads Portland Central Nazarene Church. He loves being in ministry and seeing lives transformed by the power of Christ.