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21st December 2023


Tidings of Comfort and Joy

Shout it out you Shepherds

Tidings of comfort & great joy through Christ the saviour were announced by angels to lowly, lonely shepherds.
These so often on the outskirts of society (out in the hills & fields) were the first to visit the Christ child.
These shepherds became the first evangelists. God’s ways are so different to ours!!
Their mandate, & ours too, is to proclaim the good news of salvation available through Christ (Luke 2:10
12
).
Today we will think how God coming to dwell amongst us, & ‘In Christ’ within us, must be proclaimed to all.
The incarnation took place so that shepherds could shout out the good news to everyone.


So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marvelled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. Luke 2:15-18 NKJV


Heavenly beings, the angels, announce the good news of salvation, found in Christ, to a handful of humans.
The incarnation, God with us, is the first step to the intercession of Calvary, where God died for us (2 Corinthians 5:19).
God in Christ, the Saviour, who would save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).
These shepherds are then to proclaim the glorious news of salvation to everyone.
As so often we find the divine plan entrusted to human hearts & hands.
God can do it all alone, but He chooses to keep using humans to work out His plans & purposes on the earth.
This requires our full cooperation & obedience. It was found in Mary, Joseph, Jesus & the shepherds.
Will the Lord find it in us? SELAH

Why shepherds we may ask? God is pictured as a Good Shepherd in the Old Testament (Psalm 23:1, 28:9, 80:2-4; Ezekiel 34:15).
Jesus was the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world (John 1:29 & 36; Revelation 5:6 & 7:17).
He was also the promised Shepherd Ruler (Micah 5:2-5; Matthew 2:6) & the Good Shepherd (John 10:11 & 14) of the flock of God.
The Good Shepherd who would lay down his life for the sheep. Such good tidings of comfort & joy.
Jesus is lamb, sheep & shepherd all rolled into one. What a mystery & marvel.
Shepherds were the first witnesses & evangelists as they were an earthly reflection of a heavenly reality. SELAH

People who heard the shepherds’ testimony marveled at the good news of salvation they proclaimed.
If we too are faithful evangelists’ people will also marvel in our day. They will come to Christ as Saviour & Lord.
God is longing for the lost sheep to return to the fold. He needs us to help call them home.
Once we have found salvation ‘In Christ’ we are to make it known to others (Matthew 28:18-20).
This is the wonder of the mysterious, but marvelous, divine plan entrusted to us enfolding in, & through, our lives.
It will bring glory to God. Obedience opens the way. Hallelujah!!!

For Reflection

  • What has God said to me, or shown me, that is worth shouting about right now?
  • In what ways am I hastening unto Christ & then making Him known?
  • Meditate upon the mandate for us to make Christ known in this world.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,
Thank you that You are my Good Shepherd,
That You faithfully watch over my going out & coming in & provide for all my needs.
Jesus, Lamb of God, thank you that died in my place,
So that I might be forgiven & find eternal life in You.
Holy Spirit teach me to be obedient to the word, will & ways of the Lord,
Give me daily grace & strength to fully cooperate with the divine plan & purpose for my life.
This I ask in the mighty Name of Jesus.
Amen

Written by Gareth Jones

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