"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. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:8-11 NIV).
The first to hear the news of the Christ child were the shepherds. The scripture says that they hurried off to find the baby, and then they went and told everyone about what the angels told them. Maybe the angels told the news to the shepherds because Jesus would become our shepherd. These shepherds bent their knee to worship the Christ child and later they would be saved through this little baby when He grew up to be the great Shepherd. Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me----just as the Father knows me and I know the Father---and I lay down my life for the sheep" (John 10:14-15 NIV). He sacrificed His life to save us from the enemy (Satan) and death. Just like a shepherd who would lay down his life for his sheep, so did Jesus become the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.
Jesus is our shepherd who loves us. "He tends his flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young" (Isaiah 40:11 NIV). I like to imagine Jesus holding me close to His heart when I am having struggles or when life's burdens threaten to overwhelm me. I picture myself in His arms safe and sound, away from the enemy (Satan) and secure in His love.
Jesus calls us by our name and leads us. "He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them and his sheep follow him because they know his voice" (John 10:3-4 NIV). We are referred to in scripture as the sheep..."We all like sheep have been led astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6 NIV). Jesus is our shepherd calling us by name while we wander in the wilderness of sin and hopelessness. It is up to us to listen to His voice and run to his arms to receive his forgiveness and grace. In order to hear His voice we need to be still long enough to meditate in prayer. This is a busy season and sometimes it is easy to be all caught up in the shopping and parties and forget about the baby Jesus the shepherds went to see. Let us remember why we celebrate Christmas and listen to our Shepherd's voice. He is calling to all of us to serve Him.
Thank you for sending us Jesus as our shepherd. Help us to listen to His voice and come running to Him when we are lost. Let us never go so far away from Him that we can't hear His voice anymore, because it is then that the enemy will sneak up on us and steal away our peace. Thank you for saving us and holding us close. May we remember that the baby born on Christmas became the shepherd who sacrificed himself so that we can live forever.
In Jesus' name,
My husband and I have been in the ministry in one form or another for 37 years. I have had several poems published in the local newspaper. I write devotionals for my co-workers and friends. I own this article and have full rights.