Pastor Chuck McKinney
Valley Christian Church, Concord
Luke 2:10b-12 “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! 11 The Savior–yes, the Messiah, the Lord–has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!”
These shepherds, like all Israel at the time, must have shared a sense of despair. Under Roman rule, the people were yearning for God’s deliverance. And suddenly, there was an angel of God, and “the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them”. What an experience! They were terribly frightened. Who can blame them? You and I would have been, too.
Once the angel, and the vast host of others, disappeared, they must have asked themselves — and each other, was that really a heavenly choir?….what did Jacob put in the stew this afternoon? But their joy at the “good news” overcame their fear, and their doubt. They knew it was real. I can hear them in their excitement. We all saw the angels. We all heard the message. We all trembled at the mighty power of God. Hallelujah! What are we waiting for? But a manger? What has the Messiah to do with a stable? Had they heard wrong? Was it some kind of symbolic phrase? Where should they really look for this new baby?
Where would you have looked?
God seldom does things the way we think He should. And when I see the visible evidence of something God is doing in my life I, too, am “terribly frightened”. God understands my fear. He is way too powerful for my senses, or my comprehension. But I have the example of these shepherds, and others too numerous to count. If I believe God, and trust God, and obey God I, too, will find the Savior.
Look for Jesus today. You may find Him in some very unexpected places.
Prayer: Lord, we thank You for helping us overcome our fears. Help us to trust in Your promise so that we too may recognize Jesus. Amen.