Luke 2:8-18 Glory in the Highest
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold,[a] an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, 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, goodwill toward men!”[b]
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely[c] known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
The Father uses shepherds for all manner of things, from kings to evangelists.
They were often men of low birth, smelly, filthy, and ragged from the toils of their ignoble but necessary service. Yet in the fullness of time, when the Messiah finally arrived, it was to these and not the religious leaders that the angels appeared.
If anything this proved a foreshadowing of the unconventional ministry of our Lord: a King born in poverty, a Savior born amid peril, a Divinity clothed humanity, a Creator helpless in the arms of His earthly mother.
They were simple, as in uncomplicated: They weren’t puffed up with learning and ritual, they weren’t sidetracked by philosophy or obsessed with power and control, they had no trappings of office, and no real wealth to speak of that made them arrogant.
They were dutiful, as in responsible: They were in the fields at night, when more predators are about. Their lives were ever in danger, and their vigilance had to be constant at all times. They likely slept during the daylight hours in order to be alert and earn their keep.
They were unified, as in co-operative: Whatever differences they may have had took a back seat to the fact that in order to survive the perils of the night’s watch, they had to work together to make it through.
They were fearful, as in reverent: When the angels appeared, they didn’t panic and run though they were afraid. After the assurance of the angel, after the blessing of the hosts, they rejoiced at the news.
They were bold, as in excited: Knowing how they were perceived by society at large, nevertheless they left for Bethlehem to see the Babe for themselves, and believing, they made what the angel told them widely known. They probably spent a great portion of the night traveling to wherever they would to spread the Good News, a foreshadowing of the Apostles going into the world, to make His resurrection widely known.
Therefore I pray:
Father, I’m not a shepherd. I’m not built for mountain perils or desert dangers, but You already know that, nor did You call me to it.
But I find that oftentimes, I’m not as the shepherds were: simple, dutiful, united with other believers, not reverent, and definitely not bold.
Yet I would not be fruitless tree, cursed by the Messiah to never bear again.
So Father, I ask for the shepherds’ heart, that I may make widely known the Good News of my Lord, who willed to reveal You to me, and sent me the Spirit to empower me and seal the Word of my salvation on my heart.
Equip me, Father, to find travel the long, hard distance to the narrow road; I would greet my brothers and sisters who walk with me there. I would see my family rejoicing in the Kingdom. I would save a lost soul who needs You, even if it’s just to plant a seed.
The lions and bears of life come for me. The desert sun of doubt and cold moon of rebellion makes my heart hard soil. My darkness is greater for the things I see, though I profess to know You.
I would plead You send a star to guide me on the path back to my King, that I might worship Him in spirit and truth, and honor my vows to Him.
I would once again be a wise man bearing gifts for Him, ever seeking, rejoicing, glorifying and praising, and making widely known that which was told to me: He is Emmanuel.
“G-d is with us.”
I ask it in the power of His Name, believing I’ve received.