[CF Devotionals] 2016-12-24 - Like the Shepherds

Christmas Eve ~ 2016

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Editor's Note:A funny thing happened when we were writing our devotionals this week. Without telling each other, both Richard and I were writing about the shepherds receiving the Gospel whilst in the middle of their everyday work. When I told him about it as I sent his out, I planned to just table mine; however, Richard suggested that we combine the devotionals, Thus the double author signature.

Luke 2: 8-18 (MSG)

8-12 There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”

13-14 At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:

Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

15-18 As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

19-20 Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!

Shepherds were not of the elite class; they were everyday people, like most of us. Yet of all the people available, God chose them to be the first who heard the wonderful news of the Christ Child's birth, the incarnation of the Messiah.

Many of us celebrate Advent, which is normally a season of preparation and contemplation. We prepare for Christmas in many ways, from singing or playing Advent or Christmas music at church, to decorating to planning family visits. We sometimes become so busy with our special preparations, that we temporarily lose sight of "the reason for the season." In addition to all the special family and church activities and traditions we'll take part in, we certainly will hopefully also be especially focused on Christ entering into the "real world" as our Savior.

When Christ came to the Shepherds, they weren't doing anything special. They were just completing their everyday work, "doing what they do," working the midnight shift. God gives us all work to do on this Earth, and we should also be busy doing that work, because God intends it - but also because that is when and where He often makes His presence known. We may hear him in the "still small voice," or see him in a homeless person that we pass on the way to work or church, or in a hurting coworker or client. There are a myriad of ways that He can appear in our worlds, but if we have eyes to see and ears to hear, we will encounter Him. Is God calling you this Christmas season? Have you heard the Good News of Jesus? Will you follow Him?

We hope that all of you have a meaningful Christmas. I know that for us, Richard's recovery from Guillain-Barre Syndrome - though predicted by neurologists and expected by us - we are still very thankful that he is 95% back to normal. Thank you all for your prayers, for in so doing, you were a part of our most meaningful Christmas gift this year!

[email richard]  Richard Moser, Jr. and Janice P. Moser

All scripture references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.

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