Terrifying Glory and Surprising Significance

Monday Discussion

ShepherdsThe angel comes not to ambassadors, or kings, or presidents, or media moguls, or celebrities, not to intellectuals, or priests, or professors but to shepherds, by many accounts, members of one of the lowest rungs of society in the ancient world.


Think about the scene. 

It’s dark. They are tired. They are thirsty, maybe hungry. They are dirty. And they smell. That’s the life of a shepherd.

The day’s dust is thick on them.

Suddenly, there is a terrifying glory in the sky and an angel speaking to them (Luke 2:10-14, ESV).

Shepherds 210 And the angel said to them,

“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 

14  “Glory to God in the highest, 
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” 
  • Moments before they were in the dark, suddenly they are bathed in glory.
  • Moments before they were talking about sheep, now they are talking about angels.
  • Moments before they thought they were insignificant, now they are retelling the most significant news ever announced.

And now it is our chance to think about that news.

The angel comes not to ambassadors, or kings, or presidents, or prime ministers, or media moguls, or celebrities … not to intellectuals, or priests, or professors but the shepherds.

The humility of the surroundings and the “insignificance” of the people, and the lack of pomp and pageantry, all serve to point us to the news being announced. The emphasis is on what God is doing. The emphasis is on the action of God in orchestrating all of history to pivot on the events announced on that solitary holy night.

People of God, be strengthened by this thought:

God delights to use the small things of life.

He delights to use the powerless,

the weak,

the despised,

the broken,

the tired,

the overlooked,

the forgotten,

the hurting,

the dismissed

to accomplish his greatest joys for the world.

Not just at Christmas, but all year long, we, no matter where we are in the list, we can tell the world that news.

  • Be like the shepherds, run to Jesus, tell the news. (Luke 2:15, 17)
  • Be like Mary, treasure and ponder the story. (vs. 19)
  • Be like the angels, proclaim the news loudly. (vs. 10, 14)
  • Be like the shepherds again, worship the King. (vs. 20)

Merry Christmas!

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