My devotional this morning focused on the passage in Luke 2:8-14, in which we read about the announcement of Jesus’ birth by an “angel” of the Lord to “shepherds living in the fields”.
As often happens when I return to a Scripture passage that I’ve read in the past, new insights pop out off the page for me. In this reading, I was struck, anew, by the contrasts in this setting of the announcement of Christ’s birth.
First: An “angel of the Lord” appearing, and…
Second, and more strikingly: shepherds “living in the fields”.
Those of you who love camping out (living in the outdoors) can readily identify with this setting, as can those of you who may find yourselves in a place where camping out is not a choice but a necessity.
What struck me so strongly in this new visit to Luke 2:8-14 is that those “living out in the fields”, presumably, a part of the “humbler” crowd on a social scale, were actually those best equipped to consider, (or even dare to venture over to), a visit to a stable to witness a phenomenon taking place in human history!
When you’re out camping, the odds are that you are not in your best attire, nor does that really matter in such a setting; but rather, your priorities are realigned and what truly matters in life is magnified – “Life” – and that is your real focus.
Surely, the God of heaven knew this and therefore, His introducing the Savior, the Messiah, and Lord, (i.e., true Life), to the world would more easily and readily be accomplished by those living a simpler, less sophisticated, yet prioritized lifestyle. Enter in, the shepherds.
Think about it, would someone, checking into their city lodging for a week’s worth of celebration, necessarily consider visiting a humble stable, as they were settling in and unpacking their belongings in preparation for the days ahead? Probably not, as many other things would (and did for many) enter in to distract them from doing so, i.e., from witnessing and experiencing this New Life.
So often do we experience distractions of many kinds in our daily lives, as did others in generations past, which detour us, as well, from experiencing the phenomenon of the life given to us by our Savior. (John 10:10)
My first point, which actually has now become my second, is that it was an “angel” that “brought good news” to the shepherds and through them, subsequently, to the world. What the angel did reflects the depth of the meaning of the word “evANGELize”, thus creating a word picture for simply “sharing the good news” of the birth of our “Savior”, “Messiah”, and “Lord” (Luke 2:11).
That is my desire, and may it even be yours, as well!
“I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd.” – Jesus (John 10:10-11)
Merry Christmas and God bless!