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The Significance of the Participants

The Shepherds
Scripture Thought for the Week: And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them and they were terrified. Luke 2:8-9
The participants who witnessed the events surrounding the birth of the Christ child, shepherds and wise men, were not notified by coincidence. God had a significant plan. Ive often tried to interpret in my meager knowledge the whys of these notifications, but my explanations are rather simple. But being that the Lord desires that even children understand His teachings, Im assuming my understanding is acceptable. First, why send angelic beings to the hillside in the middle of the night to a group of shepherds? These men tended flocks of sheep. It was their job to protect the sheep from wolves and other predators, find provisions and supervise their migration until time for shearing. Probably in Biblical times the shepherds might milk their sheep and make cheese from these offerings. Shepherds lived apart from society being nomadic in nature. Often their locations might consist of rugged, mountainous areas due to the importance of grazing space for growing other products. Many times shepherds would share their cabin spaces with their sheep. Needless to say, they would most likely take on the aroma of sheep. Again, I ask, why send these beautiful angels to a group of shepherds? This grand announcement was to be for all people. Christ came into the world to save each and every individual including the underprivileged and nomadic shepherds. No one is insignificant to the Savior. These men carried similar characteristics of the newborn King! They were trained to defend their sheep, just as Christ would become our Good Shepherd and defend His flock to the death. The shepherds knew how to provide for their flock and supervised them from the start of their journey to the end. Jesus Christ also provides emotionally, mentally, physically, financially and spiritually for His flock and He will supervise us from conception to our final crossover into the presence of our Heavenly Father. Who would ever entertain the idea of sheep giving milk and cheese? However, Jesus sees beyond our furthest imaginations to develop through the Holy Spirit gifts we never knew existed within us for His glory. Although we might feel we are nomadic and isolated from

the community of believers, Jesus knows where we are and He will share our occupancy regardless if that abode is in the remotest of areas. Additionally, Christ will permeate our lives with His fragrance so others will know we have been in His presence. There is no coincidence that the shepherds were heralded with the good news of the birth of Jesus. The names of shepherds before Jesus came to dwell among us included Abraham, Jacob, Moses, King David and the prophet Amos. After His resurrection, Jesus asked Peter, Simon, son of John, do you truly love me more than these? To which Peter replied, Yes, Lord, you know that I love you. Jesus said, Feed my lambs. The second time Peter was asked the same question, Jesus replied, Take care of my sheep. And the last time the question was posed to Peter, Jesus answered, Feed my sheep. Being a shepherd for Jesus is an extremely important job. Oh, to see the sky light up with an angelic chorus singing, Glory to God in the highest! Hallelujah, friends!

It is so good to be able to once again celebrate the birth of Jesus! Thank you, Lord, for coming to earth in obedience to the Father in order that we might have life everlasting. This is going to be a special Christmas for my cousin, Kathy, Lord. Shes in your presence and has looked into the face of her Lord and Savior. I cant even imagine that elation, but one day I will. But may we continue to press on enjoying our time with loved ones and spreading the good news of the gospel! In Jesus name, Amen!