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December 24| Luke 2:1-14


 

Daily Reading



 

REFLECTION


ANGELS

by Elaine Pierce


How many times have you read these verses? I'm guessing your children or grandchildren - or maybe you - have 'performed' these verses in days past as part of a Sunday School pageant. Many of us have cherished nativity scenes we display every year in our homes, right alongside our Christmas trees, poinsettias, and our jingle bells. Yes, we deck the halls. We sing Christmas carols and we enjoy time with family and friends. We bake, we buy, we wrap, we rush. And then we take it all down and store it for next year.


Why do you suppose God chose the shepherds to hear the news of the savior's birth? Yes, they are part of our nativity displays, but they certainly aren't prominent. And let's face it: shepherds weren't the elite of society, then or now. They were on the bottom rung of the social ladder, down there with tax collectors. They had little schooling; they were coarse, unlearned men, and they were shunned by the 'good' Jews, the scribes and pharisees. Ah...Isn't that exactly who Jesus came to save? All of our intellectual pride, our social standing, our self-importance often stands in the way of following Jesus. We pat ourselves on the back and offer our works to Jesus as a way to earn our way in. The shepherds? They had very little to offer, and yet there they are, worshipping the King at the manger.


In John 10:11 Jesus says "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." The shepherds were at work when the angel brought them the good news of Jesus' birth. It was an ordinary day for them. They had not 'earned' this heavenly visit, and yet God chose to reveal his Son to them. As we sing carols and gather with family and friends, let's not lose sight of how the Lord works in the ordinary, in the mundane, in the everyday-ness of our lives. Thanks be to God that he is always ready to meet us and bless us. Enjoy every moment of celebrating his birth, knowing that the gift of eternal life is yours, without strings attached, and thank him for this day, and the days to come.


The shepherds told everyone the good news. May we join them in sharing God's love in this Christmas season and in our routine, daily lives. Glory to God in the highest!


PRAYER

Lord, you often use the lowly, the overlooked, and the outcast to bring good news. Help us in this most holy season to notice those in need, those who mourn, those who suffer, and to share your love and hope. Thank you for your gifts, so freely given, and help us follow our Shepherd in the good times, and the hard times. Amen.




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