Of all the splendor surrounding the first Christmas long ago, perhaps no part was more dazzling than that host of angels who appeared before the shepherds by night, just outside of Bethlehem.
Luke 2 reveals that the angels were enveloped in the glory (brightness) of the Lord. It was so spectacular that the shepherds were “sore afraid.” And lest you think of shepherds as the softer sort, let me remind you that these men braved the elements, wild animals, and thieves and robbers on a regular basis, and yet, none were more visibly moved than these burly shepherds. And why not? They were stirred by a supernatural appearance and miraculous message; the long awaited Savior of the world had been born that night and even now lay in a lowly manger in that very town.
Luke describes how “they came with haste,” to meet their Creator God in a cattle stall. As they left that holy ground on which the King of kings humbly lay, they could not contain themselves, but “made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.” And, “all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.”
The shepherds were moved to action by the events of that night, and yet what they saw does not compare to what we can see, through the window of Scripture, concerning this Babe. We can travel with Him over the hills of Judea, through Samaria and around the Sea of Galilee. We can watch as He healed the lame, raised the dead and caused the blind to see. We can follow Him to Calvary where He bled and died to pay the price for our forgiveness. We can visit the empty tomb, and watch with His disciples as He ascended back to heaven.
Dear friend, if the first chapter could stir the shepherds to go and tell what they had seen, how much more should we be moved to share the whole story of how “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.”