Have you ever been the first to tell someone good news? Were you excited, nervous, or anxious? I remember the day I was able to tell my husband we were expecting our first child. I was very nervous but also excited. Nervous because I knew our lives were going to change but excited because of the change that a child would bring.
The angels, or Heavenly Hosts, were the first to tell of our Saviors’ impending birth. They had the privilege of telling the shepherds. Shepherds were not highly regarded during that time. They were seen as having little to no value. Why were they chosen to be the first to find out that Jesus was coming soon? Just image sitting in your yard minding your own business and all of a sudden an angel appears. That in itself would be nerve racking! And the angel says, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Then a host of angels appear. We are not sure how many angels but I can imagine that there were more than three. They begin singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” I am not sure what my reaction would be but I don’t think I would have reacted the same way the shepherds did. I would be a little leery. But that is not what they did. They talked among themselves and said, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this Child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen which were just as they had been told. (Luke 2:8-20)
What a part the angels played in the Christmas story! The shepherds were the first to hear and they were the first to see the Savior born. They trusted God and what the angels had told them no matter how scared or nervous it may have made them. This is a lesson for all of us to remember all year long, not just during the Christmas season, about having faith in God and His plan for us.
Christian Education Coordinator