Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
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.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
It was an ordinary night for lowly shepherds who were watching their flock, most likely the sheep to be used for temple sacrifices in nearby Jerusalem. After an extraordinary appearance of an angel telling them about the birth of the Savior, the shepherds hurried to Bethlehem and found everything just as they had been told. God chose smelly shepherds to be the first visitors to see this Babe, their future Sacrificial Lamb perfect in every way, who would also become The Good Shepherd. It was extraordinary birth announcement as these shepherds spread the word about Jesus! All who heard their message were AMAZED as the shepherds continued glorifying and praising God! Can you imagine Mary, a virgin young woman, probably around 13/14 years old, newly married, 90 miles away from her home with no family around and surrounded by animals, who had just given birth to the promised Messiah with the help of her husband Joseph, who was probably 14/15 years old, and shepherds show up to see her baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, because an angel of the Lord told them to go find Jesus? But Mary treasured up (preserved) all these things, and pondered (considered them as one) in her heart (the core of her being.) An ordinary night transformed into the extraordinary!
Lord, thank you for the best Christmas gift: our Savior. May we be found hastening to share the Good News, amazed by You, and pondering You and Your Word. Do Your extraordinary work in and through us ordinary sheep! In the Sweet Name of Jesus, Amen.
Angels from the Realms of Glory
Angels from the realms of glory,
wing your flight o’er all the earth;
ye who sang creation’s story
now proclaim Messiah’s birth:
Come and worship, come and worship,
worship Christ, the newborn king.
Shepherds, in the field abiding,
watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with us is now residing;
yonder shines the infant light: [Refrain]
Sages, leave your contemplations,
brighter visions beam afar;
seek the great Desire of nations;
ye have seen his natal star: [Refrain]
Scott and Karen Thayer