We have waited long;
Waited in Hope,
We celebrate Light,
And still we pray:
Come, Jesus, Come!
Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified.
The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.”
Luke 2:8-14next >
Here’s the Good News! The angel states it clearly to the shepherds. It’s about the birth of a Savior, the arrival of Christ, the Messiah, the Lord, and it’s “for all people.” That’s why the announcement goes to the shepherds first, because they are not the most powerful or educated or popular, they are the lowly and the forgotten. The Savior is “for all people.”
God sends an angel and then a multitude of angels to announce to the whole world that because of Jesus’ birth the world would never be the same again. And guess what! The shepherds get not only front row seats but a private concert with the heavenly hosts!
There are shepherds — the lowly and forgotten — all around us. They’re in your school, in your class, on your team, in your town, in your family. Maybe you’re one of them, maybe you aren’t. What matters is that God takes notice of you! You are not lowly or forgotten by God! God says to you: because of Jesus you can know peace, hope, redemption, relationship, life.
David Lolengnext >
Gracious God, help me to know that you take notice of me, that through Jesus I can know peace, forgiveness, and life. Help me to share this Good News in my actions and words with others, because the Gospel of Jesus is for all people. In the name of the Lord Jesus, the Christ, our Savior. Amen.next >
“Could it be true, this Bethlehem story of a Creator descending to be born on one small planet? If so, it is a story like no other. Never again need we wonder whether what happens on this dirty little tennis ball of a planet matters to the rest of the universe. Little wonder a choir of angels broke out in spontaneous song, disturbing not only a few shepherds but the entire universe.”
Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew, 2002
Jesus’ coming has changed everything. Because of Jesus we are transformed. As changed people we are called to join with Jesus Christ in the transformation of lives, families, communities, and the world.
Go now into your world; go in Christ Jesus!
Rev. David Loleng is the National Associate for Evangelism for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Presbyterian Mission Agency. He has more than 20 years of ministry experience in Presbyterian churches in California. He is married and has two young children. His hobbies include book collecting and taking long walks… to the refrigerator.
Advent Waiting: Infant Holy/Away In A Manger