(Long before the Samaritan woman at the well left her water jug to tell her entire village about Jesus, there were others proclaiming the truth about Jesus to those who would hear.
This mini-series will reveal those who proclaimed Jesus at his birth. We will read about the shepherds and angels, Simeon and Anna. First, the shepherds and angels.)
True story- Some shepherds in the Middle East were taking care of their sheep at night as usual. But this night would turn out to be nothing like other nights. They had a problem, heard a praise and had to proclaim.
The Bible says:
> 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.
Watching sheep at night, shepherds always had to be alert and on guard to protect the sheep from any threat. Those shepherds, going about their regular duties to make a living, suddenly became afraid. Something new, different and scary happened. Heavenly beings surrounded by light appeared suddenly! What kind of threat was this? How would they protect their flocks?
Little did they know that the Heavenly visitation was only a glimpse of heaven bursting in on earth in the form of the birth of a baby, God himself coming to dwell among them on earth.
As the shepherds watched, the angels praised God and they proclaimed Jesus. The shepherds had to go see what such a royal, holy demonstration was all about. They had to leave their important day-to-job to seek truth and find out what was so praiseworthy. So they went. They saw the Good News, the Word made flesh, the baby in the manger that was unlike any other baby that had ever been born.
Like the angels and shepherds, we are called to praise and proclaim. Once we recognize God for who he is, we must set aside our fear and joyfully let others know the Good News.