10 Dec Expect the Unexpected
“The First Noel” is a beloved Christmas song focused on the shepherds in the Christmas story. The song conveys the story of shepherds greeted by angels while tending their sheep. These angels were there to glorify God and to inform them of the birth of Jesus. Every year we see the shepherds portrayed in nativity scenes looking at baby Jesus and we hear them referred to in our favorite Christmas songs, but have we ever stopped to think about the significance of the shepherds? For the second part of this Christmas series, I would like to focus on the shepherds and what lessons we can learn from their presence in the Christmas story.
1. God can show up in unexpected places. For the shepherds, I can imagine that the day had started off like any other day. They didn’t wake up that morning expecting to interact with a group of angels and they certainly were not expecting to receive the greatest news of all time. They were just out in the field on an ordinary night when something truly extraordinary happened. God does not care what position we hold, how glamorous our jobs are or how much we make. God will reveal His Word to whomever he chooses, whenever He chooses, wherever He chooses. We never know where we may be or what we may be doing when God chooses to share a Word with us. We just have to be willing to listen and to act on the message He has for us.
2. When you hear from God, make haste. Scripture says that after the angels left, the shepherds decided to go to Bethlehem to see the baby and specifically it states that they went “with haste (Luke 2:16).” They didn’t wait until their shift was over. They dropped everything and ran to see the baby they heard about. When God reveals something to us we need to react like the shepherds and run towards it. There is absolutely nothing that we can be doing that is more important than responding to what God wants to reveal in our lives. We need to be like the shepherds and run with haste.
3. Go, tell it all! After the shepherds saw baby Jesus, scripture says that they went and shared the good news abroad (Luke 2:17). Keep in mind, that their stories of angels and a baby Savior would seem odd to us even today. Imagine how their story may have come across to folks they were telling back then. Regardless, the shepherds couldn’t keep it to themselves. They had to run and tell everybody about Jesus. Guess what? Jesus’ birth is still good news! It is great news! Just like the shepherds we should be running to share it with the world.
So this Christmas, let’s expect God to show up in unexpected places and when He does, run and tell it all.