Friday, December 17, 2010

A Shepherd's Christmas Commentary

A Christmas Story

How would you feel if you were one of the shepherd's in Bethlehem that night the angels came? 
Near Bethlehem shepherds were unsuspecting of the Time.

 Art by William Holman Hunt, 1827-1910.

Can God change a life? Under the stars, I spend about every night watching these sheep. Every star twinkles its light to me, but every star lies. My, life, lately, is bland; it has no meaning. 

Why am I out here guarding these sheep? At least my uncle Thomas thought enough to give me work. It's so hard to make money in Bethlehem. I'm going to vacate this town; there's no future. 

What's that brightness up there? 

I like sheep, and they like me. The sheep know my voice. I keep the flock together. I defend them from the lion and the wolf with my staff and my knife. The best thing is to keep the night fire burning. This is a light that doesn't lie to me. 

I have not seen that light before. It's growing bigger, it's moving closer. I jump to my feet. 

(v8) Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid (Luke 2:8-20 NKJ). 

I have never seen anything like this!

(v10) Then the angel said to them, “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.” 

Oh, wow, an angel! This is unbelievable. From the nearby hills my friends, other shepherds, gather toward the angel to listen. A great light of unspeakable joy surrounds us. I can truly say, I forgot all my troubles. 

The sheep remain amazingly still. Now you don't understand this, sheep panic at the slightest disturbance. But the sheep sleep, all quiet. 

The mighty angel in light speaks to us. 

(v12) “And this will be the sign to you: You will find the Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 

(v13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 

Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” 

The stars no longer lie to me. Everything is truth. Truth, everywhere. 

(v15) So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 

Bethlehem is not far. 

We are so close we can see the spatter of evening lights, oil lamps in the open windows of humble homes. Quiet are the streets as we walk the town. Could it be, no one but we shepherds saw and heard the glorious angels? Then we spot the manger off to the left in the side of one rise. 

(v16) And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in the manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 

Yes, we worship this Babe, the tiny Messiah, the angel told us about. We talk with his sweet mother and gentle father. 

His mother's eyes!

You should see his mother's eyes. 

(v19) But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them. 

Townspeople gather from curiosity, and we brag excitedly about the angels. I knew my life could never be the same. This is a glorious night and every star twinkles truth and joy to me. 

The Messiah! I have seen the Messiah!

Merry Christmas!

Be Free to say it.

Bill Hunt

Let Christmas music, Christian films, and Christian books inspire you. They make the greatest gifts.

The Nativity Story is the most sensitive and realistic saga of the Birth of Jesus. I recommend this film to you with all my heart.

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