"And there were shepherds living out in the
fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the
Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and
they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I
bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today
in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the
Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths
and lying in a manger." (Luke 2:8-12)
The blessed baby was born at last! The time had come! The Messiah had arrived. But the good news isn't immediately shouted from the mountain tops! In fact, it doesn't even go to the learned scholars of the day, but to a band of humble shepherds. What an honor it must have been to these men to have been the first recipients of the Good News of the Messiah's birth! And their response? "When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." (Luke 2:15-19)
The story goes on to say that they HURRIED off and found Mary and Joseph and
baby Jesus. They didn't wait until morning. They didn't wait until someone could be found to keep watch over their flocks. They didn't go after dinner. They HURRIED off to find and worship the baby. This was the best news of their lifetimes, and they didn't let any grass grow under their feet until they had seen with their own eyes the newborn King.
Try to imagine yourself in the shoes of these humble shepherds. How would you have responded? Would you, like these men, instantly drop whatever you are doing to go and see for yourself? "Sure I would have," you say. But would you truly have reacted like the Shepherds? Try to remember back to the very first person who shared the Gospel with you. Did you accept it immediately with open arms, drinking it in with no thought for the other parts of your life? Or were you like so many who don't want to believe? Or who perhaps wanted to believe, but had other things going on in your life, leaving no time to "find and worship" the King?
Let's take a look at what the Shepherds do next: "When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child . . ." (Luke 2:17). After seeing the baby with their own eyes, they immediately set out to "spread the word"!
For those of you who have already "found" and "worshiped" the King, what happened afterwards? Were you like the Shepherds? Did you go away proclaiming to the world the wondrous news that there is a cure for sin? Are you STILL proclaiming that wondrous news to everyone you meet? Or are you, like so many, keeping the Good News to yourselves? Hesitant to say anything about Jesus to people who don't believe in Him?
My friends, let us make the "shepherds living out in the fields" an example for each of us today! Let us not hesitate, even for a moment, to "hurry" off and find the "baby"! And once we've found and worshipped Him, let us never cease to proclaim the Good News to EVERYONE we meet!