Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 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. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” – Luke 2:8-14
They were just doing their job. Ordinary men… extremely ordinary. The shepherds of the Christmas story were among the poorest in society: you will never read about a wealthy shepherd. And of all the people on the planet, God sent an army of angels to inform them that His Son was being born in Bethlehem in real time.
The news was for every person on the planet (“all people“), and when properly understood, the news causes “great joy.” What were they told?
- There was a birth.
- The birth was in the city of David (Bethlehem).
- It was the birth of a Savior.
- The Savior is identified as the Christ (the anointed One or the Messiah).
- The Savior is the Lord.
- The Savior will be found as a newborn in a feeding trough.
Then the countless assembly of angels shouted out, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” The word “peace” was commonly used to describe the cessation of hostilities in a war. The same word is used in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” For the one who places faith in Christ for forgiveness and salvation, God erases all sin from the relationship. You can draw near. You can know His favor. He is able to respond to you with “goodwill.”
God is not at war with you.
However, your experience of God’s peace is not automatic. It is conditional… dependent on your readiness to lay down your defenses and cease hostilities on your part. You don’t need to fight your way through life. You don’t need to live as if everything depended on you. You don’t need to hide. You can stop running.
You have a Savior.
The first ones to learn about the Savior born in Bethlehem were not the rich and powerful, the mighty and influential, the successful and famous… the first ones granted access to the Savior were the ordinary ones!
He has good news for you, if, like me, you feel pretty ordinary. The Savior has been born… for us! It’s the Christmas Revolution!