#511 (27/12/21) THE SHEPHERDS WORSHIP
This week’s devotions are based upon our Christmas Morning message from Matthew 2:1-12 & Luke 2:1-20.
Over the last few weeks we have been seeing that through the nativity story, God was bringing good news to the world through his Son Jesus. But this news is not just for us to keep hidden away, but it is to share with the world.
In the story of the shepherds and the magi (wise men), we see people from two totally different backgrounds, learning to worship and then telling others the good news. But their journeys to telling others started with coming to Jesus and worshipping him.
Today, let’s briefly think about the shepherds.
‘In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.’ ( Luke 2:1-20)
God reveals Himself to these shepherds. God reveals His plan of salvation to them. They are not seeking Him, but He reveals Himself to them. Shepherds were despised and considered to be unclean by many. God comes to those we would not expect to be first in line. The gospel comes to the unexpected. God reveals Himself to sinners. He reveals His great plan of salvation to the unworthy.
The shepherds respond to God with worship. Actually, they are caught up in heaven’s worship. Being caught up with heaven in celebration of our great God is essential to our spiritual health and our ability to share the Good News with others. As we make space to worship personally and with the church we will be reminded of good things:
We are encouraged, “Do not be afraid” - fear is crushed through worship;
When we worship, we are reminded that “a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” - fear is crushed through the revelation of our great Saviour.
In worship we are reminded “on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.” - Fear is crushed and joy is enflamed by God’s grace on us.
When we make time to worship, we are reminded of the most important and uplifting things. We are encouraged and empowered in God’s presence. And the result of worship will be, like the shepherds, to ‘spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them….’ The shepherds celebrated and then shared The Good News. May we learn to do the same.
ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
There are no Community Group meetings until January.