When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They ran to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. Then the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. — Luke 2:15-17 (NLT)
No Nativity scene is complete without the presence of shepherds. Every good Christmas pageant has them!
Christ’s birth was first announced to shepherds by an angel. Shepherds received a heavenly invitation to see the newborn Savior of the world and celebrate His birth.
Have you ever wondered why God invited shepherds to such a historical event? Many possible reasons have been proposed.
Perhaps it was because these particular shepherds were taking care of sheep used for Temple sacrifices. They were invited to see the One and Only Lamb of God who would forever take away the sins of the world.
It could be that shepherds were invited because Jesus was the great Heavenly Shepherd. How fitting for men who daily took care of wandering, smelly, unintelligent sheep to come to the manger’s side and see the One who would give His life caring for spiritual sheep.
Shepherds were average, hard-working and common men. They were sometimes despised by others. God sent an angel to let them know that ordinary people were welcome in the presence of His Son.
This Christmas thank God for the lessons we learn from the shepherds. Remember that you too, like the shepherds, are invited into the presence of the Savior.
Lord, thank you for being the Lamb of God that takes away all our sins. Thank you for being the Great Shepherd who so wonderfully cares for us. Thank you that no matter who we are or where we have come from we are welcome in your presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen