Luke 2:8-12, 15-18

Theirs was a solitary existence, spending much of their lives alone in the fields.  Neither bust nor boon in the local economy would have affected them in the slightest.  As Jews, they had been waiting for Messiah, like their fathers before them and their fathers before them.  As Shepherds, they lived hand-to-mouth, on the margins of society.  There was no going home at night; they lived in the fields with their sheep.  They were tough men, hardened by the wind and the weather; and they stank.

No one knows why an angel would show up to a bunch of shepherds.  After all, there were upstanding citizens living a few hundred yards away in town; people who ran businesses, raised families, attended synagogue, kept the Sabbath and contributed to the poor.  But on this night the shepherds are held spellbound by something beyond their comprehension.  They see God’s angel, hear His announcement and experience His glory.  On this night of all nights, God invites the outcast, the marginalized and the forgotten to come and see His Son.

Do you ever feel like you’ve been left behind?  Does it seem that everyone is swimming while you’re drowning, or at best, treading water?  Do you sometimes feel alone in a crowded room?  Do you relate to the shepherds more than the townspeople?  Do you feel embarrassed or singled-out just thinking these thoughts, like someone has peeked into your diary?  Perhaps God is coming to you now.  Perhaps He is announcing His love especially to you, right in the middle of your solitary, marginalized life.

The shepherds respond to the angel’s announcement in some very un-shepherd-like ways.  The Scripture says that they hurried to town to “see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”  You have to realize that shepherds are normally never in a hurry, and that going into town was not a pleasant experience (remember: they stank!).  And they did something unthinkable, something that a shepherd never does: they left their sheep!  This handful of shepherds literally dropped everything and went into town to see “this thing that had happened, which the Lord has told them about.”

What must be “dropped” in order for you to wholeheartedly respond to God?  Is there a comfort-zone to be breached, a past to be released, or an obsession to be left behind?  If God is announcing His love to you just now, do not delay in your response.  If He is inviting you to see His Son, hurry to Him; drop everything and hurry to the Messiah. 

The Scripture says the shepherds found everything just as they had been told; that they saw the Messiah.  We are not told much of what they did there, but at the very least they must have gazed on Him; they must have bowed before Him; they must have reverenced him.  Perhaps they spoke words of amazement, or perhaps there were no words at all.  Maybe they laughed at being first on the scene, at being God’s specially invited guests.

Imagine the thoughts and feeling you would have kneeling before that manger.  Take some moments and verbalize your amazement.  Speak your worship to the Christ.

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