When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
It’s fascinating that the very rst people God chose to share the news of His son’s birth with were Shepherds…
Why? Because at the time of the Angels arrival to bring this good news, a census was going on. Everyone was returning to the place they were born in order to be counted. That’s why Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Joseph was returning to the place of his own birth. But not the shepherds…they had nowhere to go, and the Roman Empire who had commissioned the census didn’t consider them worthy of being counted. (Let’s put it plainly…They didn’t count!)
And yet, in another example of God’s great love for ALL PEOPLE, He chose to send his Angels to the shepherds. Not to kings, not to the rich & powerful, not to the popular or the beautiful but to those that society didn’t even consider worth counting…This moment in history reminds us again, EVERYONE matters to God.
Right in the middle of a dusty eld (with smelly sheep all around) the Spirit of God creates such a stir within the hearts of the shepherds that the only thing they can do is respond immediately!
How quickly would you respond? What would you be prepared to do once you had received this amazing, incredible, mind blowing GOOD NEWS?
The Angels declared Peace on Earth, they sang “Glory to the new born King!” And as they sung no doubt the Shepherds felt that peace come alive in their hearts. They said “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem, and see what has happened that the Lord has made known to us!”
Their desire was to find the source of this PEACE.
We can learn a lot from these shepherds. They are prepared to leave their familiar surroundings of the desert to venture into the unknown of the city of Bethlehem. Shepherds are not usually found in cities, but off they went, searching for the Prince of Peace, the one who brings everlasting enduring peace.
And this beautiful Christmas Carol “O come all ye faithful” challenges us to do the same.
His peace makes us “Joyful and triumphant”, His spirit alive in us changes us just like it changed the shepherds. Seek Him to nd the peace you need in every situation and circumstance of life.
Today decide I will seek him even if it means venturing into the unfamiliar or the uncomfortable because Gods peace is found in the most unlikely of places by the most unlikely of people! And as you find Him just like the shepherds you will find peace. And may that cause you to sing and shout to a world who desperately needs REAL PEACE, “O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord!”
By Phil Dooley
The Christmas message is one of expansive and inclusive hope. The good news of Jesus’ birth is good news not just to a select few, but to all mankind. With the arrival of Jesus, the invitation to worship the one true God has become an invitation to all.
Jesus, in esh appearing has revealed the love and glory of the Father, and has become central to our faith and our worship. Over the years this carol has been a favourite of the worship leaders in our church. I think it is in part for the reason that it is an express invitation to whosoever may come, to adore Jesus.
We join with the angels and the generations before us, including those at the very birth of Jesus, in bringing glory to God the Father through Christ the Son. In exultation, we declare the Lordship of Jesus, for He alone is worthy.
By Ben Fielding
CONNECTION & ACTION
1. How do you respond to God’s calling in your life?
2. In what area of your life do you think faithfulness is most
3. Who in your world needs to be counted or considered?
– That we would be faithful in everything that God has called us to do
– Praying for peace in Yemen. Yemen has been embroiled in a civil war for the past two years, propped up by other powerful state actors on either side
– That ‘invitations’ will be extended to those who need one