Early Christmas Presence - Day 7
Early Christmas Presence
Early Christmas Presence- The Presence of Jesus changed the sights and the sounds of the Shepherds.
Luke 2:8-20 (ESV)—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 great 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.
True to the ministry of Jesus later in His life, the first revelation of Him as “Savior” (following his birth) came to a peculiar group of individuals— shepherds.
Shepherds were uneducated men and possibly women, tasked with the monotony of keeping herds of sheep alive and in route. The sounds, and sights of a shepherd’s life were most predictable; — cries of distress from a lost member of the flock; observations of threat from nearby predators; whimpers from hurt sheep needing special attention; and constant sounds of hunger and restlessness.
Can you imagine the shepherd’s surprise when the glory of the Lord showed up during their everyday norm?
Can you imagine their shock as the angels from heaven began to shout forth praise for something
and someone they didn’t even fully understand — a “proclaimed” Savior?
Can you imagine their confusion at why then this revelation to them—
those of lowly stature? And why now as the rest of the world around them slept?
This is taking some liberty, but I can’t help but think one of the reasons they received an invite to the revelation and only recorded angelic praise party, was because they were available. They were awake. They had nowhere to be except the humble space they were already in— a smelly flock of sheep. BUT in that very normal space — their worlds changed forever.
Jesus is referred to our Shepherd, so even if they didn’t realize it, they were “His kind of people.” Certainly, Jesus was from the lineage of King David, but David was a shepherd before he was a king.
Jesus was born into what was already a lineage of legacy of God looking to the hearts of men and not statures. Creating something mighty from something mundane.
Shepherding is hard; it is messy and it is heart-wrenching. It’s a selfless job to help something that can’t help itself and that’s exactly what God does for us.
When the shepherds received instruction about where to find this baby Savior, they said,
Imagine what their experience must have been like that they more comfortable to leave their flock and seek their savior. It seems it was an easy decision to leave behind their circumstances in that moment, to experience Heaven on earth.
After they found Him, it says they spread the word concerning the Child and all who heard it were amazed.
And then they returned to their circumstances— but differently.
“And the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen.”
The presence of Jesus literally changed the sights and the sounds of some obscure shepherds forever as Heaven invaded their space.
From the cries of livestock to the cries of the Lamb of God — from the scenes of the helpless to the sight of the Helper Himself — the presence of Jesus interrupted their schedules, their livelihood, and their lives, and the welcomed interruption caused enough praise from their lives that it was recorded forever.
How has the presence of Jesus changed the sights and sounds of your life?
If God showed up in middle of your mundane — how would you respond? (Or how do you respond?)
Has an encounter with the Lord changed the way you re-enter ordinary situations in your life?