walking through the advent together: day 19
“So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.” (Luke 2:15-18)
This here, my friend. The portrait of something so deeply beautiful happening, and it touches my soul deep. These shepherds, who are probably by now used to being considered as someone untrustworthy, unworthy, unimportant. They hear of the King of Glory come down as a babe, the get a first-hand announcement straight from a whole group of angels — and they respond without a hint of doubt, of hesitating.
Imagine this. A group of shepherds, who take care of the temple lambs meant for the sacrifice. They are the first to see the Lamb of God, who would take away the sin of the world, once for all.
Yet, even more so this here touches my heart: that all those who heard the good news marveled at those things. Here is this group of these faithful shepherds, ready and eager to share what has been shown to them, this more precious than anything. But these shepherds were the social outcasts of the day. I imagine people did not want to recognize them, to notice them when they walked by.
When the shepherds had seen the Lord, they made sure tell the Gospel to anyone close by.
Hear me out, beloved. It does not matter who it is that shares the good news with others. Whether we are like these shepherds, social outcasts. Whether we are like Moses, and barely get a word out the right way. Whether we are like Peter, and speak before we think.
It does not matter whether we have the skills we think we need to share the good news with others. What matters is that the good news get shared.
So today, beloved. Let us marvel at the beauty of this story: that our Hope is not bound or limited by human standards, by the socially accepted norms. Our hope is woven deep through this Redemption’s story, there from the stable up to the cross of Calvary. This hope does not give up, does not change along with circumstances or people. This hope shines translucent through that one word: Emmanuel, God with us. Jesus, our Savior, giving His life so that we might live ours. Emmanuel — He is with us, He is in us. He does not give up.