Read Luke 2:8-20. Christmas season is here again. This reminds me of the shepherd’s hill we went to see in Bethlehem. There is a cave converted into a nice chapel for silent meditation. Tradition says that it was the ‘manger scene’ and around it are other small buildings with great paintings depicting the angels and the shepherds. I’m not exactly sure if that was the place, but may be close to it. However, there is no doubt the shepherds are a vital part of the story of Christmas because the news about the glorious fulfilment of prophecies was first relayed to them according to verses 10-12 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
I want you to notice the faith of these shepherds. When the angelic host had gone back to heaven and when darkness and stillness again covered the hillsides, the shepherds began asking one another—until they unanimously decided that they should go and see this thing that the angels had told them. They did not say, “let us go to Bethlehem to see if this thing that the angels told us is true.” Instead, what they said was full of FAITH, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” Wow that is real faith! This is the kind of faith given as a gift. It creates responsibility to the receiver. It is a response to the ability and promises of God. The shepherds believed the word and they went “to see.” They believed God’s message right away and as a result they received the generous reward of their faith. These simple peasants were the ones who first saw our Saviour as babe. It says, “And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child” (2:16-17).
That is real Faith! How do we know? Because their faith brought forth fruit, they became witnesses, verse 17 says, “…they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.”
There are two basic responses of receiving the glorious story of God coming down to earth in the form of man: One, be doubting, shrug your shoulders and ignore the Saviour. The other one, follow the path of the Judean shepherds and receive with full assurance and faith that a Saviour was born that He might be born in us. Simple faith, like the peasant shepherds’ faith is the link to the Saviour’s gift of eternal life. This is a gift of God’s grace. Why don’t you make a positive decision today? Life is short, death is sure, sin the curse BUT only Christ is the Cure. All by grace and by grace alone. Do not delay, it may be too late!