A humbled and open heart is fertile soil for God’s seeds of wisdom. Establishing deeper roots requires analyzing God’s word to discover truths, values, and lessons for application to our lives. Periodically, a scripture or passage calls for further exploration, like Luke 2:8-20.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.Luke 2:8-20 NIV
The book of Luke is one of the Gospels. The book contains much of Jesus’ earthly ministry from the perspective of the apostle Luke. Luke was a physician and Gentile, which can be seen in his viewpoint on the life and ministry of Christ. Chapter 2 of Luke focuses on the birth and early childhood of Jesus Christ. Verses 8-20 highlight the shepherds’ encounter with the angel of the Lord.
The angelic announcement of the birth of Jesus Christ was not made to the deeply religious or rich; it was made to the shepherds of the field. In that time period, the role of the shepherd was seen as lowly. They tended to the sheep necessary for sacrifice but were often seen as ceremonially unclean. This demonstrates the birth of Jesus Christ was truly good news for all types of people. As the angels exclaimed praise to God, their words are full of joy and comfort to believers. God’s favor and peace through Jesus Christ rests upon us; yes, undeserving us. With the birth of Jesus, God continued His plan to make us whole again.
The sign of a baby lying in a manger would have seemed shocking to the shepherds. Think about it: The anointed one born to humble parents and laying in a trough used for feeding animals. But that is exactly what the shepherds become eyewitnesses to. They became the first messengers of the arrival of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
The news of Jesus’ birth echoed through the heavens via angels and through the earth by the shepherds. Do you echo the good news in how you live your life?
We celebrate Advent because we know that Jesus Christ will return again. How we choose to live our lives each and every day should display the good news of Jesus’s birth and that he will return again. As we rest in the peace of God, our father, we know that one day we will give account for all that we’ve done with our earthly bodies. Take a moment to reflect on how you can display the good news in your life daily.