|And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. |
I bring you good news of great joy that will be
for all people. Today in the town of David a
Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”
Shepherds were afraid of very little. They “were able to tangle fearlessly with fierce predators or club-wielding poachers, but they felt their legs turn to jelly when confronted with the sudden appearance of the divine messenger.”1 Scripture says they were “terrified.” (Luke 2:9)
This sight, so surprising, so bright and loud, of a “great company of heavenly host appearing with the angel” (Luke 2:13) was like nothing these country bumpkins had ever encountered. This invitation to see the Baby pulled them from their terror, and excited enough of their curiosity, that they got up and went to Bethlehem.
The experience of seeing the newborn Messiah changed these poor, backward men into evangelists of the Good News of Christ. No longer did they shake with fear. The angel’s words to them and the encounter with the God/Man in the form of a Baby incited them to “spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child.” (Luke 2:17)
Has God invited you to a new experience with Him, called you to a new venture, given you a task that you know will tax everything in you? Hear the angel’s words: “Do not be afraid.” Believe that He wants to reveal to you something great about Himself that He expects you to share with others. It could possibly be, as it must have been for these shepherds, a turning point in your life.
After they shared the news of the birth of Jesus, they returned to their flocks “glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” (Luke 2:20) God wants us to experience a higher joy that produces higher worship and praise than we have ever felt before. During this Christmas season, listen for God’s voice and obey His call. He desires to show us His glory!
|1 Gugel, John. Messiah. Fenton, MO: Creative Communications for the Parish, 2003. p. 20.|