Continuing in reading through the birth of Jesus in Luke reminds me of a Podcast done by our own Pastor Graydon Cress on the Life and Ministry of Jesus: The Birth of Christ. If you don’t listen to his podcasts that come out every Monday…you should. In this specific podcast linked above, Pastor Graydon gives some super cool background and some other historical data that gives you sort of a “Wow” moment in regard to God’s perfect plan to bring the Redeemer into the world. The part at the very end about The Tower of the Flock is soooo cool!
And in that vicinity there were shepherds living [out under the open sky] in the field, watching [in shifts] over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone all about them, and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people. For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, Who is Christ (the Messiah) the Lord! And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find [after searching] a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Then suddenly there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven (a heavenly knighthood), praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [men of goodwill, of His favor]. When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing (saying) that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us. Luke 2:8-15 [AMP]
The first thing that stood out to me in this passage was that the angel “stood by them” and at the same time the “Glory of the Lord flashed and shone all about them”. I can only imagine how scary this must have been for them. In my mind I can hear the angel calming them down and asking them not to be afraid; in this soothing angelic voice which must have been calming but still eclipsed by the bright light all around them. At this point they had to have some pretty strong confidence that this was a messenger of the Lord to send them this message in this particular way. And then to top it all off, the whole host of angels appears through what probably seemed like a spiritual veil to praise God with their voices.
These shepherds, after finding the baby Jesus just as the angel had told them, must have carried this story their entire lives and passed the recollection of the experience down to their children. My mind always goes to the unanswered questions like – “who of the shepherds stayed back with the sheep”? 🙂