Luke 2:1-20 At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirnius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David's ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his betrothed wife, who was now obviously pregnant.
And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her fist child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in the strips of clothes and laid him in a manager, because there was no lodging available for them.
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angle of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid! he said, "I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all the people. The Savior--yes the Messiah, the Lord-- had been born today in Bethlehem the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: you will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manager."
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others -- the armies of heaven -- praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased."
When the angels and returned to heaven, the shepherd's said to each other, "Let's go to Bethlehem! Let's see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manager. And after seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened. All who heard the shepherds' story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.
I love that the angel appeared to the shepherds. Men who were thought of as lowly. Yet men who would understand what it meant that Jesus came to care for the people as shepherds care for their sheep. Watching over us all. After all they cared for each and every one of their sheep... it was their job to watch over... to get between the wolf and the sheep even if that mean harm to themselves. These shepherds, these men would understand the importance of the job of Jesus here on this earth. These men would know that night to be thankful for the roll that tiny baby was about in their lives, in the lives of all mankind.
This Christmas morning I am so thankful for Jesus and the great sacrifice He made for me!