Fourth Sunday of Advent — A Shepherd Speaks

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.  Luke 2:8-11  KJV

ach of us were taking our shifts through the night to keep watch over the sheep and lambs.  It seemed like an ordinary night, but honestly you’ll have to take my word for it, what happened next had all of us up and on our feet in an instant ready to defend our flock and ourselves.  The dangers shepherds face mostly kind of sneak up on them in the darkness so when the night sky was split apart by blinding light we were afraid. It seemed like all our worst fears had became reality. 

It wasn’t until we heard that voice say “Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings” that we began to wonder if this might be something special.  Sure, we’d heard there was a coming Savior, but this was a very odd situation.  Angels don’t just appear to bring news every day, especially to shepherds!  We don’t count for much except for those times we’re called upon to choose a perfect lamb for the Temple sacrifice.  We do know a perfect lamb when we see one!  I couldn’t help but wonder if that’s the reason the Lord chose us…of all people…to get first-hand news of the ”great joy, which shall be to all people” — because He trusted we would recognize the Perfect Lamb of His choice. 

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