THE SHEPHERDS FIND BABY JESUS
Golden Text Luke 2:11
Look at them, the shepherds, watching their flocks of sheep, protecting them from marauders similar to any other night of the year. Then abruptly, out of nowhere, an angel appears to announce the 'good news' in the antiquity of communication!
The story notes that the shepherds were poor, foul-smelling, and disparate. Nonetheless, like many stories, sometimes they morph over time. Yes, they may have been foul-smelling and perhaps a bit unkempt, but they were not poor, ignorant migrants or gypsies scraping out a living. No, they are advanced social class.
The credence that the angels appeared first to poor, unschooled, country shepherds makes much sense, but the fact supersedes other stories.
See, these vicars are a part of the animal sacrifice system of the Jewish synagogue – an excellent business. Their occupation was to prepare the sheep for Passover and other Jewish rites. Then, suddenly, breaching the silent night, is an angel from heaven appearing with an apprise to Mosaic Law.
The shepherds were not cognizant of the evening's happenings in the spectacular events. The angel postal delivery was certified mail expressing the time for animal sacrifice was nearly over, and they were the first to know of Jesus' arrival.
After the shepherds saw Jesus with their own eyes, the Bible says they " The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told..” (v. 20)."
Who better to visit towns than this media machine. They were familiar with the routes of each village, town, and city. They knew how to navigate the trade routes due to their merchandise such as wool, sheep, goats, and milk.
The Bible notes that their movement is with haste to share the good news.
We have the same passion for sharing the good news with others who may not know Jesus Christ – our Saviour.
Sermon prepared by
Bishop George Lockhart, EdD