16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. – Luke 2:16-18
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
What is the most amazing thing you have ever seen? For me it would be the Milky Way seen from the middle of nowhere in Hampshire. A number of us stood in a field in silence staring up at the night sky. The silence was broken as a shooting star trailed across the sky. It was a truly remarkable sight.
When we see something amazing we normally want to describe to others what we have seen. The shepherds in Luke 2 saw some amazing things that first Christmas evening. They saw a choir of Angels. They saw the Son of God lying in a manger. If I had seen those things, I would be telling everyone! But the striking thing about the verses above is they don’t tell people what they have seen. Instead they tell people what they had heard.
What had they heard? They had heard that Jesus is good news for all people because he is the Saviour who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11). This is what gripped their hearts. This is what they long to tell the residents of Bethlehem. These words should be an encouragement to us because we have not seen a choir of Angels. We have not seen the Son of God lying in a manger. But this has not stopped us hearing the good news about Jesus. Like the Shepherds we have heard and responded to the good news, and like the shepherds we can share what we have heard. In the same way that God used smelly, dirty, uneducated shepherds, he can use us, and it doesn’t have to be big. It can be a word here, or a prayer there. It can be an invite to church or making someone aware of the online services. All we need to do is share the good news that we have heard.
May we be like the shepherds this Christmas time.
Yours in Christ