Shepherds on the hillside, family advent devotion


“And all the ends of the earth shall see the Salvation of our God.”
 Isaiah 52:10
C
an you think of the least favorite chore around your house that no one wants to do?  How about the most boring job ever; the dirtiest job?  From ancient times to present day(not so much in our western world) one of those jobs was being a Shepherd. Many of those who were shepherds were uneducated formally (but very smart), and were often dirty from having slept out all night with the sheep.
It really was one of those jobs that most people would not have wanted!

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.”
Then the angel said to them’ “Do not be afraid...” Luke 2:8-10

These men were tough, staying out in the dark night and protecting the sheep from wild animals, but this had them trembling. The shepherds had never seen anything so bright and beautiful – the glory of the Lord! It was so bright that the angel had to tell them not to be afraid. 
“...for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign to you.  You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:10-12

The Shepherds must have been amazed not only to be surrounded by the glory of the Lord, but to hear the words of the angel! The angel brought them news of great joy which was for all people – even Shepherds.  All people – even the poor. All people – even the uneducated.  All people – even the lonely. 
What was the good news? A Savior - “born to you.”  How special the shepherds must have felt, to know that God had sent a Savior, a savior who was born for them too!

“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.” vs.13,14

Oh, how this must have taken the shepherds to their knees! If one angel frightened them, can you imagine a whole host of angels praising God together? What an incredible time of praising God for this Savior who was born! 

“So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” vs.15

Perhaps they slowly got up from their knees, still stunned by all that had just seen, but at once they were heading for that little known town, Bethlehem! It is no accident that what the shepherds said to one another is recorded in the Bible. They were heading to Bethlehem to see that “which the Lord has made known to us.” To us – lowly shepherds.  To us – the poor. To us – the uneducated. Yes, the Lord chose to reveal this good news to shepherds! Why? Isaiah 52:10 tells us that all the ends of the earth shall see the Salvation of our God!

God loves each of us.  It doesn’t matter what kind of job we have. It doesn’t matter if we are the smartest in our class.  It doesn’t matter the kind of clothes we wear.  God chose to send His Son for our salvation!  For your salvation! This is what Christmas is all about!

God goes to great lengths to show His incredible love for us.  That includes sending an angel to shepherds on a hillside to be the first to hear of His son’s birth!  God gives us His word, the Bible, so that you will know of and hear of His son’s birth too.  

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