The Shepherds’ Reaction

The Shepherds…we think we know their story.

Lived on the fringes, outside of town, somewhat dirty and smelly. Probably considered ‘ceremonially unclean’ by the religious people of the day.

Yet, it was to the shepherds that the angels appeared to announce Christ’s birth!

What did they do? The scripture says that they said “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” (Luke 2:15)

They didn’t say ‘oh, that’s nice…’ and go on as if nothing happened–how could they?

They had to get up and go!

“They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.” (Luke 2:16-17)

They had seen something miraculous, and the could not keep it to themselves! They had to tell their story, and they really became Jesus’ first ‘evangelists’ in that sense!

This song: Angels We Have Heard on High, is essentially ‘Their Story’….it is the shepherds telling about what they’ve seen!

In order to really ‘get it’ , you need to know that “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” means “Glory to God in the Highest”. It was not only the phrase that the angels used (Luke 2:14), but now it was the phrase that the shepherds were using! GLORY to GOD in the Highest!

Think of it as ‘The Shepherd’s Song’!

Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing o’er the plains! And the mountains in reply echoing their joyous strains.

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Shepherds, why this jubilee? Why your joyous strains prolong? What the gladsome tidings be which inspire your heavenly song?

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Come to Bethlehem and see Christ Whose birth the angels sing! Come, adore on bended knee, Christ the Lord, the newborn King!

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

See Him in a manger laid, Jesus–Lord of heaven and earth; Mary, Joseph–lend your aid, with us sing the Savior’s Birth!

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Listen to the song, and discuss this:

When was the last time that you told anyone about Christ’s work in you, or the glory that He has at Christmas?

Pray for opportunities this week. Pray that the Holy Spirit makes you sensitive to those opportunities, then pray that He gives you the words (Note: He WILL!).

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