By Linda Martindale
Luke 2: 8-20
Imagine yourself outside. There are no car noises, no televisions, no sirens. All you can hear are birds. There are no city lights. All that can be seen are the stars. The Milky Way looks like a path across the sky but something seems off.
That is what happened to the shepherds. They were in a field outside of Bethlehem with their sheep. It was quiet. They could not hear anything that might attack the sheep. The sky was bright with no clouds to see and the stars – the stars kept getting brighter.
All of a sudden one seemed to fall to earth. As it came nearer, the shepherds became afraid. What would they do? Would this star kill them? Wasn’t it taught in the synagogue (church) to beware of things falling from the sky.
Suddenly, out of the light from that star, an angel appeared. Now they knew they should be afraid. Angels appeared to important people like Jacob and Elijah. They didn’t appear to common shepherds in the fields. Then the angel spoke:
“Do not be afraid.” The angel then told them: “I am here to tell you some good news from God. It will bring you great joy and is meant for you and all people. Today in the city of David, Bethlehem, a Savior, the Messiah, the Lord has been born. And you are to go and find him. This will be a sign to let you know that you have found Him. He will be wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Now if this hadn’t startled the shepherds enough, suddenly more angels appeared. And they were praising God saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill to all men.”
The angels disappeared as suddenly as they came. The shepherds look at each other. They knew their flock would be alright if they left. God would protect their sheep. They agreed that they HAD to go to Bethlehem and see this thing that the angels had told them.
They ran straight to Bethlehem where they found Mary, Joseph and the Baby who was lying in the manger as the angel said. They were amazed but knew that they needed to praise this Child and tell all they saw about the Child. As they spread the news, all were amazed but Mary treasured the memory in her heart from that day forward.
Now who would think that God would tell common shepherds after He told all in heaven? Why didn’t God tell the Kings. That is no mystery. Jesus is the Savior of everyone. It is right that God told the common man first because they were the Ones in need of knowing that the Savior who brought the love of God had come. They were the one in need of hope which this world has always needed.
As you walk outside during Christmas, it probably won’t be as quiet as the world the shepherds live in. Yet, listen carefully. Can you hear the angels’ song? I think you can if you listen carefully.