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, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:8-20
Why did the angels proclaim Jesus’ birth to shepherds? The kings from the East, the Magi, were prophesied about (Isaiah 60:3). Shepherds were not foretold. But, the shepherds were symbolic.
Jesus is known as both the Good Shepherd (John 10:11) as well as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). As Shepherd, Jesus led God’s people to places they had never been. While God’s written Word gave the road map, and God’s prophets proclaimed warnings, Jesus, the Shepherd, took them on the journey Himself. He showed us what to do. He showed us how to respond. He showed us how to live. What the cognitive and auditory couldn’t accomplish, the kinesthetic “Word made flesh” (John 1:14) demonstrated brilliantly.
The shepherds weren’t drawn to the manger by a flashy announcement. The shepherds were drawn to the Savior through worship. The angels came praising and proclaiming. Worship points people to the Messiah.
We all worship in different ways. Most obvious is worship through singing. But, people also worship through being in nature, serving, studying and many other ways. If you haven’t identified the way that you worship best, check out Sacred Pathways by my friend, Gary Thomas.
Some things we discover through words. Some things we discover through work. But, we are completely alive and more fully discover through worship.
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