Luke 2:8-12 ” And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ “

Shepherds were a despised class of people…their work caring for the flocks often times rendering them unclean and thus unable to enter the Temple. Their social status was so low, that their testimony wasn’t even considered valid or reliable in court. But here they were, witnesses to the greatest light show ever as the angels proclaimed the Messiah’s birth to them. But why them? We can first look at their fellow shepherd, David, when God anointed and bestowed dignity on the title Shepherd in II Samuel 7:8, “Now then, tell My servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over My people Israel.” We then see the Lord taking on the actual title of Shepherd Himself in the very familiar Psalm 23, where it starts out, “The Lord is my Shepherd…” But despite being considered second-class citizens, the shepherds did one thing right that fateful night…their personal encounter with the splendor of God caused them to believe and trust that it was all true…to the point they left their flocks to go and see. This week before Christmas, you may have several opportunities to encounter Jesus personally…don’t allow disbelief, hesitancy, or doubt to stop you from seeking that baby in the manger.

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