The Birth of Christ Announced to the Shepherds (Luke 2:8-14)

Shepherds often lived out in the fields with their sheep. Lots of hours, separated from the rest of the Jewish community. They were considered filthier than the average person. Obviously, their surroundings didn’t lend to as much ability to stay clean as in the cities. In addition, they were known to occupy their time by telling tales. The long hours, days and perhaps weeks, allowed the telling and re-telling of stories until they became all the more sophisticated and exaggerated. So legendary were their stories that a shepherd’s testimony wasn’t allowed in court. The Jewish community apparently felt that shepherds were somehow incapable of telling the truth.

To these members of Jewish society, so looked down upon, God had a special plan. A messenger came and delivered an incredible tale of his own. Let’s review the story of what happened:

It was dark, night had fallen. The shepherds were probably taking turns sleeping while some stood watch over the sheep. At any time, a predator could approach or a thief. They were responsible for these sheep that were not their own and they certainly did not wish to have their pay docked for the loss of any of them.

Suddenly, an angel stood before them. Perhaps, if any had been sleeping, they were awakened by the sight. The shepherds were terrified! This was one visitor they had no defense against.

The angel said, ““Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

Speechless they must have been. This was a tale as great, if not greater, than anything they had ever told. Yet it wasn’t over. Just as quickly the sky filled with an angelic army or choir. They broke out into praise of God. Some say they sang others that they talked, but either way their message was just as wonderful:

"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

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