they heard, they saw...and they told!
“That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep.
Suddenly, an angel of The Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of The Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said.
"I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The Savior--yes, The Messiah, The Lord--has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David! And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger."
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others--the armies of heaven--praising God:
"Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased."
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, "Let's go to Bethlehem! Let's see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.
(Luke 2:8-17 NLT)
Wonder. Mystery. Years, even centuries since GOD’s people had heard from Him. An angelic visit to Zechariah, then Mary, and then Joseph, followed by two unlikely pregnancies. After the birth of John The Baptist, the Judean hills were buzzing with excitement, and with hope.
When an angel startled these shepherds, they must have known something was going on. Still, even though The Messiah was long expected to arrive, I don’t think anyone expected to see Him in a manger.
Thursday night, we read this story with our 20-something small group and asked for reactions. I heard words like wonder, awe, amazing, humility, mystery, peace, joy and Good News. One of my friends noticed the shepherds. They heard, they went to see, and then they told everyone what had happened. As I regarded the shepherds' response, I wondered…is it our response?
My guess is, like me, something unexpected, unlikely or overwhelming caused you to turn and look at Jesus, inviting Him into your life. Now that we have heard about Him and seen Him, are we as committed as the shepherds, to tell everyone what we’ve seen?
“Christ has no body now on earth but yours;
yours are the only hands with which He can do His work,
yours are the only feet with which He can go about the world,
yours are the only eyes through which His compassion can shine forth upon a troubled world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” – Teresa of Avila
We are His body. We are His big plan to reach the world. It’s crazy, I know, but through Him, it works. We get to share the Good News of what we’ve heard and seen GOD do in our lives. The Child came, not to condemn, but to save. He came to set captives free and to comfort the brokenhearted. It is Good News. Looking again at The King of kings in a manger, let’s consider who we know that needs to hear about the wonder of the great things GOD has done for us. Then, let’s tell ‘em!