Advent Devotional: Week Two - Friday
Scripture Reading: Luke 2:8-20
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
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!”
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Like the three wise men from far-off lands, the shepherds in their fields were unlikely candidates in the hierarchy of Jewish leadership to be the first to hear of this great king’s birth. Yet God choose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. It is not unlikely that in this scene with the angelic host we are reminded of who Jesus is: our great shepherd.
The shepherds were not a highly regarded group of people, and their field was certainly a peculiar spot to unveil this grand message delivered by an angel host in all of its rehearsed splendor! The Christmas story continues to impress upon us that every bit of Jesus’ story shatters the pomp and circumstance of the world. Humble scenes, cultural outcasts, and foreign visitors all receive front row tickets to the birth. In the bright lights and over-the-top window displays of Christmas, we need to rethink where to look to find Jesus. He was first found with the broken, the destitute, and the humble.
Prayer: Dear Father, we so often forget the true beginnings of Jesus. We get so easily distracted by the desires and ash of the world. Help us to take time to practice humility and care, both for our own struggles and brokenness, as well as those around us in need.
Advent Singing: While Shepherds Kept Their Watching
Refrain: Go, tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere; go, tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born.
While shepherds kept their watching o’er silent flocks by night, behold, throughout the heavens there shone a holy light.
The shepherds feared and trembled when lo! above the earth rang out the angel chorus that hailed our Savior‘s birth.
Down in a lowly stable the humble Christ was born, and God sent us salvation that blessed Christmas morn.