Read Luke 2:8-12. TEXT: And in that 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 fear (Luke 2:8-9).
Fear strikes again. First, Zechariah, then Mary, and now the shepherds are visited by an angel. All three times the angel brings good news of God's undeserved love and mercy. Yet the people who receive the divine messenger are filled with terror at the presence of this holy angel.
Of course, we have the benefit of knowing the angel has come with the Christmas announcement. The shepherds have no idea. All they know is that in the middle of an ordinary night an angel of light appears. And even more, the angel's splendor is almost lost in the surpassing brightness of God's own glory shining around them. Immediately aware of the darkness of their sin, guilt and shame, they tremble in fear.
We often find ourselves haunted by regret over things we have done-and the things we have left undone. We see relationships in tatters, opportunities we've foolishly squandered. Perhaps, even just yesterday, a rash and hurtful word came from our lips as we were gathered to celebrate our Savior's birth with family and friends.
In the midst of this paralyzing fear and guilt, the angel's message rings out for us: "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." Jesus Christ, the Child of Christmas, has completed the work for which He was sent into our world. He satisfied God's perfect plan, taking our punishment on Himself on the cross that we might enjoy His eternal splendor, peace and joy in heaven.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please forgive me all my sins and set me free from the guilt, regret and fear that paralyze me. In Your Name I ask this. Amen.
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"