8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” 15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished,
Jesus’ birth was a statement about his mission and what God is like.
The first people God chose to announce the birth of Jesus to were shepherds
What is so special about Shepherds?
It was a lonely job spent away from people and exposed to the weather
It was dirty - a lot of animal dung around
-would be personally dirty (no washing available)
-Not a job most would want to do
-You would have to do this job
-Social class attitudes would not honor the job
-Shepherds would not be welcome amongst royalty
This is our first indication that God ways are not our ways
Yet the royalty of heaven (host of angels) came to shepherds
Shepherds were the first people to be invited to see Jesus
Manger not a palace
The shepherds were invited to come see their savior Jesus in a stable
This is a place where shepherds would feel comfortable and unashamed
Theme of Jesus’ ministry
DANIELLE STRICKLAND describes Jesus’ ministry as
“ Going out of his way to get into the way of those who are on the margins”
Going Into a room
Have you ever walked into a place
:Where you felt you did not fit
Where you were not welcome
Where you felt inferior, uncomfortable, on the outside
Jesus’ birth says to the world..
You can come to me just the way you are
Jesus will come to you, just the way you are
Back to the scripture we read at the beginning
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
The peace of Christ that He desires for us is
:to be so much in the will of God that we stop making decisions that ruin our life,
:to be so confident in His power to deliver us that troubles do not push away our peace,
:to be so aware of His goodness that we are not upset about the unfairness of life.
:Christ’s peace is superior to any problem, attack, mistake, or the unknown.
Christ wants you to have this peace.
Concentration camps- more people grew their faith than lost it.
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Joy to the world, the Lord is come Let Earth receive her King Let every heart prepare Him room
The Shepherds had a lot of time to think about life