| Shelley Fellers reads Luke 2:13-20 | Ben sings Angels We Have Heard on High | Ben shares a meditation on the shepherds response to the angels announcement |
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.
After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.
All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.
The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them. [Luke 2:13-20]
The words of the angels here have been heard by virtually every Christian at every Christmas time for hundreds of years. We have songs that give these words flight so that we might join together in filling the sky with the lyrics of heaven.
In seeking relevance to ourselves, my attention is captured by the shepherds’ response.
When the angels returned to heaven the shepherds did not say:
Gee, it sure is dark now. I wish the angels would come back.
That was cool, let’s go to sleep.
No one would believe us anyway, go stop that lamb from wandering away.
The shepherds got the point. There was a response demanded by the angels and theirs was correct:
Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about. Then they went and told everyone about the child and the angel. Then they went back to work.
Father, as we grow closer to the celebration of Your son’s birth, help us to adopt the sense of the shepherds. Don’t allow us to get distracted by the messengers, but instead, help us to focus on the message. Don’t allow us to keep the story of Your love to ourselves, but instead, help us to share it with joy.