And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field keeping watch over their flock by night (Luke 2:8).
Writing Christmas cards is not always the most fun thing to do, especially when you have stacks and stacks of them. But it sure is fun to open the mailbox and find it stuffed with Christmas cards, announcing Jesus' great birth. We cover our front door with the cards mailed to us.
A Christmas greeting and announcement was one of the most memorable things about the first Christmas too.
Now that His Son is born, it is time for God to send out announcements to let the world know. What better messengers than angels? Interestingly, God didn't choose rich, prominent, important people to be the first to hear the glad tidings of the Christmas angel. Instead, He chose poor, lowly shepherds and sent His angel to give them the very first Christmas announcement.
Shepherds didn't have the best reputation at the time, especially in their local synagogues or churches. But theirs was still an important and ancient profession. Adam and Eve's second son Abel was a shepherd, before he was murdered by his jealous brother Cain. Jesus' own human ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had all been shepherds, as had been another famous ancestor, King David.
In time Jesus would show the greatest honor to shepherds, taking that title as His own and calling Himself the "Good Shepherd." Like these shepherds, Jesus was willing to lay down His life to protect His sheep. Unlike them, He could lay it down on the cross and take it up again on the third day. This He did so He would always stand guard over His flock, and gather us together as His own.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, our Good Shepherd, thank You for laying down Your life and taking it up again for us. Guard and keep us in this faith until the day of Your returning. Amen.