The shepherds were standing watch over their flocks in the fields when the angels appeared to them saying, “Behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people. For born to you this day in the City of David is a Savior who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you, you will find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”
It was a message of hope; there is a Savior. It was a message of love, good news and great joy. There is a sign, a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. It was a miraculous message that changed the lives of the ordinary shepherds. I believe God still speaks to us today and I want to look at the angels’ message to the shepherds to share three ideas.
#1 A NEW PERSPECTIVE
The shepherds were not powerful members of society, in fact, they were often the forgotten and were very poor. This incredible experience would have changed their entire lives. Can you imagine? How would your life change if you heard angels singing at night telling you to go see Mary and her baby? You’d be changed forever. But if you notice, nothing changed in the external world. The Romans were still in power; they were still shepherds; they still had to work and they were still poor. What changed were their hearts and the way they looked at life. Christmas is about Christ being born in our hearts and changing the way you and I relate to one another and look at life.
#2 ORDINARY MOMENTS
Since Bethlehem was so close to Jerusalem, we believe these shepherds may have been tending the sheep that would be used at the temple for sacrifice. We know they were ordinary people who must have prayed to God for help and when the answer came, it was so unexpected. The angels said this is a sign – a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths. Have you ever thought about that? There’s nothing miraculous about that sign – a baby. Babies were born all the time. All babies in those days were wrapped in swaddling clothes. It wasn’t something miraculous. The baby – the sign of God’s love – was something in the common everyday life. They said go to Bethlehem and find him. How often does God speak to you and I through ordinary, everyday moments?
#3 LOVING OTHERS
The way you and I experience the Christmas message is to look for ways to share love with others. There is a basic principal in life; it’s told over and over again and it is simply this: if you want to find God, stop looking for God and start loving others. We believe God takes the initiative to come; it was God who sent the angels; it was God who came into the world. God took the initiative; you and I will find God when we start loving others. If you’re not in the Christmas spirit, turn your focus toward showing love to someone else. For when you go out of your way to show your love, then Christ will be born in your heart and it changes everything.