The walk from the back of the church seemed to be in slow motion as I walked to a narrators reading of the Christmas story. As I took each step in my makeshift gunnysack shepherd costume, this nervous six-grader who was in the Christmas program was drawn into the biblical truth. Though my cane and turban might have been nothing more than homemade, the reality of the birth of our savior was becoming personal to my young heart.
Every year as I watch the young children put on their annual Christmas programs I can’t help but reminisce not only on my own experience of the birth of Christ but also the account of the shepherd’s that were tending their flocks. In Luke 2:8-10, we read their story, “there were … shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them…”.
Let your minds eye wonder with imagination to that hillside outside the city in a distant field. Not only did the livestock live and settle there but the lowest of the social pyramid, the shepherds also made it their home. An occupation that was high
Hope didn’t come through a palace but through a Savior being born in a humble stable for all the earth to receive. (tweet)
on the list many years before had now slid down to the lowest of low. Shepherds were in the same category as tax collectors and those that cleaned up dung in the streets.
It was quite different from what we had seen mentioned early in Genesis and throughout the times of the Patriarchs being a shepherd was a desired lifestyle for many sects of mankind. The sons of Isaac and Jacob tended flocks (Gen. 30:29; 30:12). Jethro, the priest of Midian, employed his daughters as shepherdesses (Ex. 2:16). Even Moses was a shepherd on the backside of the desert before he was branded by God’s glory. Yet, in the course of time things had changed and now being a shepherd was for the lowly.
Hope had also dwindled in the midst of God’s chosen people for it had been spiritually quiet for four hundred years. I am positive on a clear night many shepherds as they watched over their herds would gaze at the beautiful star-studded sky wondering if tonight was the night or if the fulfillment of God’s precious promises would ever really come.
This community of outcasts was exactly where God chose to break in with the birth of hope for the world. As the shepherds warmed themselves in the cool of night God rolled back the curtains of heaven and with the heavenly choir singing angelic praise the announcement was given of the long awaited hope. The angel declared, “good tidings of great joy which will be to all people” (Luke 2:1). The message of Hope
Hope has invaded our lives through receiving of the birth of our Savior Christ Jesus (tweet)
was sealed with the conformation of a child gift wrapped and laying in a manger that day. Hope didn’t come through a palace or even through a tremendous war victory, but hope came through a Savior being born in a humble stable announce to a humble people for all the earth to receive.
Hope brightened the gloom of the lowly. Hope was birthed in a lowly animal manger. Hope makes way for the glory of God to penetrate the hurts and rejection of the world and brings great joy to all the earth.
Whether it is conveyed through a children’s program, a Hallmark card, I pray that you would experience the Savior not just another story! Hope has invaded our lives through the Savior Christ Jesus being born. Receive the gift of salvation this year.