“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”
Shepherds As Evangelists
(Please read Luke 2:15-20)
What a night for those shepherds! First they were going about their business of taking care of sheep at night, a job which, while not without occasional excitement, must have been mostly routine. But suddenly things changed and the shepherds probably were never the same again.
Terrified when the first angel appeared, they were nonetheless attentive to his message, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (NIV). As if to confirm that message and as if heaven itself could not contain their joy, “a great company of the heavenly host” then appeared with the angel, praising and giving glory to God!
Leaving their sheep, the shepherds hurried to Bethlehem to see the child the angel had described. Only after they had seen him did they embark on another mission, probably that same night.
“They spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child.” In other words they became, for a time at least, evangelists, messengers of the good news. And all who heard them were amazed. If there were any who just couldn’t swallow the story of some lowly shepherds, the Bible doesn’t mention them. In fact, their humble situation may have added weight to what they told. Years later other men would go forth telling the good news of salvation through Christ, and people would be amazed because those evangelists, too, were “unschooled, ordinary men” (Acts 4:1-13). But those men, too, “had been with Jesus.”
Wouldn’t it be great if all Christians, people who have “seen” Jesus, would be busily telling others about him?