God's Messengers

“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:8-11

Our minister made the most interesting point at church recently. He came in and told us that he was going to blow our ideas of the Christmas story completely out of the water.

You’ve heard this part of the Christmas story, I’m sure. The shepherds are in the field and the angel of the Lord appeared to them to bring them the good news of Jesus’ birth. Except, what our minister pointed out is that while many translations of the Bible say that the angel “appeared” to the shepherds, the word that that comes from could literally translate to the verb “to stand.”

So, while we all have our manger scenes set out with the angel hanging up in the ‘sky,’ it is quite possible that the Christmas story is saying that the angel stood before the shepherds. That he just walked right up to them in the field to bring them the good news.

That’s what the Christmas story is about right? Not that we are looking up to God, but that God came down to us? The rest of the Christmas story isn’t some huge, elaborate production that God put on. Jesus came to earth as a baby, who was born in a stable to a family of carpenters. God didn’t choose to tell all the kings and rulers and important people the good news first; He sent His messenger to a group of shepherds!
Nothing about the Christmas story is extraordinary, and yet everything about it is extraordinary, miraculous and wonderful! God uses normal, everyday people and places to make truly amazing things happen.

In Mark 16:15 Jesus says, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” We are called to go tell the story of the gift of Jesus to everyone, not just to our family or our close friends. We are asked, like this angel, to stand before those around us and represent the gift of Christ so that others may know His love. And just like God used very ordinary people to bring about all of Jesus’ story, He can use you to share it with others!

Go, tell it on the mountain Over the hills and everywhere Go, tell it on the mountain That Jesus Christ is born!

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