Advent Christmas


Now there were shepherds nearby living out in the field, keeping guard over their flock at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people: Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” –Luke 2:8-12

I often wonder about those shepherds in the field ... the ones to whom the angel of the Lord announced the coming of Jesus. I mean, they were WAY outside Bethlehem city limits in nearby fields with the night pitch dark other than perhaps the stars and a lantern lighting their way. I think they were likely on watch for predators looking for a meal from their flock. So they were not just laying around playing cards. They were definitely paying attention to what was going on around them.

And suddenly, out of nowhere, an angel announces in a loud, beautiful voice, their Savior, the long awaited Messiah, has been born! Even though they were on high alert, they were still very surprised. More than surprised... they were afraid.

How do we know that? The clue is right there in the passage: “Do not be afraid...” The angel didn’t say that for nothing. He said it to calm them down. It was good news ... No reason to be terrified! The angel from God was there to announce their Savior had arrived. The angel voice informed them that He would be found wrapped in cloths, lying in a stable manger in Bethlehem.

Now I am sure they were thinking, “Why is this angel out here in the middle of nowhere announcing this to us? Simple shepherds? We aren’t rich. We aren’t a part of the ruling class. We aren’t royalty. Why us?” They didn’t understand that Christ was coming to save the world. He was coming to save the poor and rich alike. There would no longer be the caste system of Jews and Gentiles, male and female, the in-crowd and the cast-outs. All would be one in Christ. Jesus was coming in the form of the weakest, most helpless human being to demonstrate that He was there to relate to them. To be one of them. To save them. This was surely too much for them to process! Could it be possible?

December 25th is the culmination of the Advent of Christ. He is here by the Holy Spirit. He is our Savior and our King - our Abba Father and our Immanuel - our God who is with us. And now, a “new” advent journey is awaiting us – we await His triumphal return to right the world and to claim those who are His.

With that thought in mind, won’t you accept Him as your Savior and King? Scripture says: “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” This Christmas Day, the best gift you can receive is Him!
Alan Paul

Alan is an Art Director for Buckner International, an international humanitarian aid organization based in Dallas. He is a former Sharing Life board member, serving in the capacity of VP, Public Relations. Along with his wife, Trudy, they have been volunteers at Sharing Life for a number of years. Married for 24 years, they have 3 adult children.