At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.
And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
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 2:1-20
I am going to bring out a few points that my pastor brought out about this passage today.
God chose to have his angels appear to the shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus, not the kings, the rulers, priests. The shepherds were common people, even looked down on by society because of their 'lowly' jobs. Their entire livelihood was their sheep, yet when the angel said GO they went. These shepherds got to see a glimpse of heaven. Angels aren't the cute little things we have made them to be. They are mighty, God's warriors. I don't know, but if you think of God's warriors, I doubt they are the cute little things we have made them out to be. Can you imagine, you are laying out in the field and then SUDDENLY there is an angel talking to you. Do not be afraid might be a hard one to accomplish at that moment, when the sky is lit up with beings you have never seen before! After the angel talked to the shepherds, they ran to see Jesus, they told everyone they saw about Jesus and how it changed them, they praised God. Their situation was still the same, they were still shepherds, but their perspective had changed. They were different. Are you different because of Jesus? Has your perspective changed because of Him? Do you worship Him no matter what your circumstances?
People were waiting for a Savior to come, and SUDDENLY He was there. Many missed the opportunity to worship and be changed, but for those who found the Savior, their lives were changed, and still are to this day. Just as Jesus SUDDENLY appeared as a baby, He will return as King. It will be a sudden return, will you be ready?