Sermons

Summary: The Messiah was coming into the world! Why on earth would the Lord choose to announce the good news to shepherds of all people?

Why Shepherds?

Please stand with me as we go over our current memory Scripture:

Psalm 1:1-2

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the Law of the LORD, and on His Law he meditates day and night.”

And our memory Scripture “refresher” verse is:

Isaiah 9:6

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder. And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Today we will be reading from Luke 2:8-20

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a reputation for being mean and unhelpful.

Mostly undeserved, I think.

Have you ever put yourself in their shoes?

For eight hours every workday people are coming to you with complex transactions. They must have the appropriate forms and those appropriate forms must be filled out correctly. They must have proper identification for themselves and proof of ownership for any vehicles involved.

Many times these forms are not filled correctly or some paperwork is missing and that makes it impossible for the transaction to be completed.

When that happens the errors or omissions must be pointed out to the applicant. Some applicants don’t like that. Some applicants get angry and snarl at the DMV worker.

Some folks don’t like the amount that the state charges for each transaction as if the clerk sets the amount.

Some people are upset if they cannot pass the eye exam and the examples go on and on and on.

No wonder some of the DMV workers are cranky by the end of the day.

No wonder some of them are quick to negatively respond to your crankiness.

I have often found that approaching the DMV counter quickly, with a smile and being polite can be very helpful in completing a transaction that might otherwise be denied. I think it may be like a breath of fresh air for them, especially if they are stuck behind a mask for eight hours a day for months on end.

I don’t do this because I am a naturally super-kind-friendly guy.

I do this because I know that humans generally respond positively to a friendly face and not so positively to an arrogant, demanding person.

So, what does any of that have to do with anything we would look at on Christmas Sunday?

Just read through the Bible and see who the Lord responds positively to.

Now, I am in no way comparing the Lord God Almighty to a DMV clerk but if anyone in the universe deserves to be approached with an attitude of humility it is our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

With that in mind let’s take a look at Luke 2:8-20 and see some truly humble people who were sent a special invitation by God Himself to attend the greatest event in human history.

(Prayer for help)

Luke 2:8

“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”

Shepherds! Jesus was born in Bethlehem which is about 5.5 miles from Jerusalem.

Who lived in the vicinity of Jerusalem?

Well we know that the Roman governor at that time had a palace in Jerusalem as did Herod the Great.

There were Jewish priests, Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes who lived in Jerusalem.

There were also villages in the surrounding areas where priests and Levites who served in the temple would live.

Here we see many who would be considered to be important people in the eyes of the general population.

But, who does the Lord God Almighty choose to receive the announcement of the birth of the Messiah? Shepherds!

We often think of shepherds in a modern sense. We have sheep pastures enclosed by fences and they are treated much as cattle. They are allowed to graze and they are kept otherwise fed and watered but they do not require constant attention.

But in Luke 2:8 we see:

“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”

So, in those days the shepherds were essentially an extension of the flock! These shepherds were “living out in the fields” near Bethlehem! Living out in the fields!!

And, what happened on that awesome night of Jesus’ birth?

Luke 2:8

“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”

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