Advent Devotional for Friday, December 14, 2018

Christmas Character: The Shepherds

Suggested reading: Luke 2:8-18

Does it seem a little odd to you that the birth of our Savior was first announced to shepherds? Society at that time didn’t rank shepherds very high. In fact, Genesis 46:34 reports that the Egyptians considered them detestable. Later, we read of wise men seeking the child. Perhaps both these groups of seekers are meant to show us that Jesus came for all mankind.

Luke also tells us the shepherds were terrified. I’d guess so. Can you imagine bright lights, heavenly hosts, and angels all around? When order was somehow restored, the shepherds left for Bethlehem to check out the event. There is no record of anyone staying behind to guard the flocks. I think this tells us where our priorities should be. We read in Luke 12:31 to first seek God’s kingdom and other matters will be handled.

Both Advent and the Christmas season are an important reminder of our Savior’s birth and how we are truly blessed. It’s also a time for recalling past Christmas times, opening presents, school events for children, concerts and music programs, and even shopping online or in crowded stores. But, we must remember the shepherds, whose fear turned to joy and who shared the news with others. And the fact that Psalm 23 reminds us that the Lord is truly our shepherd. For that we should thank God during Advent, Christmas, and the whole year.

Jim Bruffett