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“Your savior is born”

December 24, 2022
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Daily Scripture

Luke 2:8-20

8 Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. 9 The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified.
10 The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. 11 Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. 12 This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, 14 “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.”
15 When the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go right now to Bethlehem and see what’s happened. Let’s confirm what the Lord has revealed to us.” 16 They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they reported what they had been told about this child. 18 Everyone who heard it was amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 Mary committed these things to memory and considered them carefully. 20 The shepherds returned home, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. Everything happened just as they had been told.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

In A Christmas Carol, when Scrooge opened his heart to the spirit of Christmas, it replaced “bah humbug” with overflowing joy. “I don’t know what to do!” he exclaimed. “I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to every-body!” * Later in Jesus’ life, as his followers sang praises on Palm Sunday, Jesus said, “I tell you, if they were silent, the stones would shout” (Luke 19:40). The angels’ song to the shepherds when Jesus was born had that same irrepressible quality. Busy caring for their flocks, shepherds couldn’t observe all the detailed rituals religious Hebrews believed it took to be “holy.” So the religious leaders in that time looked down on them. But God knew the shepherds’ open hearts, and gave them the privilege of being first to hear the “wonderful joyous news for all people.”

  • Most of us have heard and read the angel’s words so many times we may miss how astounding they were. Listen to them as if for the first time (as the shepherds did): “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.” What most makes this message “wonderful, joyous news” for you? Jerusalem, a major religious center that housed the Temple and lots of experts in Scripture and traditions of the faith, was only six miles from Bethlehem. Yet Jerusalem heard no angels’ song—no praises for Jesus’ birth rang out there. How did so many hearts become closed to God’s presence? How can you keep your heart open to Jesus even after this Christmas season gives way to more ordinary concerns?
Prayer

Lord, from our world’s perspective it seems odd that you’d choose poor shepherds of low social status to hear first of the new king. Help me, like the shepherds, to listen, then run to see Jesus, and worship. Amen.

GPS Insights

Dan Entwistle

Dan Entwistle

Dan Entwistle serves as a Managing Executive Director at Resurrection.

May we hear the message afresh today and tomorrow–news of the birth of Jesus, the light of the world–great news, glorious news, life-changing news. Yet we’re not the first to hear the great news of Jesus’ birth. So, this week we’ve intentionally returned to the first century to learn from those who were actually the first to discover the great news: Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, and today, the shepherds.

The nativity sets we place in our homes would seem woefully incomplete without the shepherds and their sheep. We love the shepherds, and their presence has become normal, expected, even routine. But we should consider how unlikely these characters would have been in this, the most sacred scene of the nativity of Jesus our Lord. Nobody would have designed it this way. The shepherds weren’t the educated ones, nor the highly religious ones, nor the ones who were the most proper and acceptable. In fact, they weren’t even the cleanest people to have near the long-awaited baby in the manger.

So, the shepherds’’ presence in the nativity scene was a startling development, and an unmistakable part of the gospel message. They hold a special place in the scene as reminders that God has truly come to you, to me, and to all of us. We can confidently place ourselves in the scene right alongside these shepherds, knowing the Christmas message is indeed great news for you and me.

So today, let’s hear afresh this great news of the messenger from God saying, “I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all peopleYour savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord.” And then let’s travel along with the shepherds to Jesus’ side to “confirm what the Lord has revealed to us.”

This year, may we rediscover Jesus, the light of all people, who is truly with us and may we know that God’s light does indeed shine in the darkness, and that the darkness will not overtake it.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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