December 17, 2012

Happy Monday!
I hope you are enjoying this WOW Weekly Moment Christmas series written by Susan Cady.  I loved looking at the story of our Savior’s birth from Mary’s perspective last week, and this week we get to see the story from the viewpoint of the shepherds.  Enjoy and remember to glorify and praise God in the midst of your Christmas season!

Jacqueline Heider

Women’s Ministry

Christmas from the Shepherds’ Perspective


When reading this part of the Christmas story, I have to tell you, I can’t help but see the Charlie Brown Christmas special in my mind. I love thatCharlie Brown Christmas quotes this passage of scripture almost verbatim. What a great childhood memory for me! And one we shared with our children as they were growing up. And…I still watch it every year! Back to our passage…
What do we learn about the shepherds from this passage?
  • In the same country as Mary & Joseph at the birth of Jesus
  • Abiding in the field
  • Keeping watch over their flock by night
  • An angel of the Lord appears to them
  • Given news of Jesus birth
  • Go to Bethlehem to see the baby Jesus
  • Tell others about their experience
What do the Shepherds see?
An angel of the Lord appears to them while they are in the fields tending sheep giving them news of Jesus’ birth.
How do the Shepherds respond?
The shepherds respond with great fear! The wordfear in this verse is “phobeo” meaning to be struck with fear; to put to flight by terrifying; to be afraid of one; to be exceedingly afraid. I love the rendering in the King James version, “they were sore afraid”.
Once again this is a natural and expected response. The angel of the Lord had just come upon them and the glory of the Lord had shone around them. Remember when God revealed his glory to Moses in Exodus? Moses had to be shielded by the hand of God in the cleft of the rock and afterwards his face shone for days. That’s pretty overwhelming. But what struck me was that they were quietly tending sheep in the field, still, calm and ready to hear. How often during this season I find the exact opposite to be true of my life. I’m rushing, busy, planning, decorating, trimming, shopping and on and on.
The shepherds believe God and take Him at His word. In verse 15, we see they decide to go seethis thing that has happened. But the word thingis not being used in a flippant manner. The word in the original language is “rhema”. It means aspecific word given by God. It is speech in which God, through someone declares His mind. It can be a promise or a command. It means a reality.Scripture is full of God’s “rhema” words to us. The shepherds believed this word from God and took it as reality!
The shepherds act on the news they have been given. In Luke 2:15 they say to one another, “let us go over to Bethlehem to see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us”. They get up and go! They are some of the first to see the Savior. We also see in verse 16, that they “went with haste” to see this reality.
The shepherds share the good news. In verse 17 we read, “they made known the saying the that been told them concerning this child”. The word for saying in this passage is again our word “rhema”. They didn’t just see the Christ child, stand in awe and wonder of this glorious event, and then leave warm-hearted and comforted in their spirits. No! They shared this good news with others. And they made it known in a big way! Look at their next response.
The shepherds returned glorifying and praising God. They were not just telling others this good news, but they were singing and shouting about it -praising God and giving him glory. Glorifying is the word “doxazo” meaning to make much of, to make renowned, to honor, to cause the dignity and worth of some person or thing to be make known and acknowledged.
What can we learn from the Shepherds’ perspective?
As a believer in Christ, we have been given good news that has changed our lives! The promise of God to redeem us and give us eternal life is a reality!
Have you been overwhelmed by something lately? Can you trust and believe the God of peace, the One who created and rules over the entire universe, who saves and redeems, to calm your fear or anxiety?
How often do you share the good news of Jesus with others? Do you sing God’s praises to others? Do you make much of Him and seek to make His worth and renown known to those around you?
Has God given you a “rhema” word, a promise or command that you need to believe Him for and act upon?
I know I need to take a cue from the shepherds. I need to slow down, take God at His Word and act in faith on it. I’d like to end by sharing a poem my daughter wrote years ago about this story of the Shepherds. It convicts me every time I read it and reminds to me slow down, listen, and act. I hope you enjoy!
Click here to download, One Silent Night.
Rejoicing in Him!
Susan Cady
Women’s Ministry Bible study Team