Sharing Extraordinary News
Have you ever had extraordinary news that you couldn’t wait to share with other people? Who did you tell first? When you share really good news do you first announce it to your closest family or friends and then begin to tell people you don’t know well? Perhaps you just put a post out on Facebook or some other social media site so you can let as many people as you can share in your extraordinary news. Do you, however, share your good news with people not like you at all? Would you seek to share your news with the poorest of society or go down the dark alley ways looking for those reputed as derelicts to first share your news?
It seems like that is where God started when He chose to share His most extraordinary Good News with the world. He begins His grand announcement with the most of ordinary people. Have you ever considered what it was like to be a shepherd in that field on that most important night?
Considering the Shepherds
Shepherds in the First Century didn’t have great reputations. This was especially true if they were shepherds hired on as assistants. Shepherds were often thought of as thieves and dishonest. This is because they were known to allow their herds to go onto other people’s land and eat the produce of that land. Shepherds spent a lot of time unsupervised and were often frequently accused of stealing the increases of the flock. Pious Jews would not buy the wool, milk, or kids from shepherds on the warning assumptions that it wasÂ property stolen.Â In addition, shepherds could not fill any judicial office or serve in court as a witness. Proclamations quotes abound stating that there is no more disreputable occupation than being a shepherd and its status as an inglorious position. (Jeremia, pp. 304-305)
Readily choosing shepherding as a career field of choice probably didn’t occur given the thoughts about shepherds. It ranks with dung sweeper as one of the top despicable jobs of that century. Perhaps though shepherds have really received a bad reputation simply because people didn’t understand them. Like all career fields, there are most likely some unsavory characters that mar the position but did they deserve the treatment they received?
Shepherds spent most of the year outside and away from the townspeople due to their job. Because of this the public didn’t understand the lifestyle of the shepherd or their commitment to the sheep. Perhaps the shepherds were just different and because of their dissociation with others they became easy targets of gossip and a place to blame all the atrocities of life upon. No matter where the truth lies their earthly reputation is clearly poor. Yet it is with this group that God chose to send heavenly angels to tell extraordinary Good News.
Why Extraordinary News to Ordinary Shepherds?
Our focus this week from Luke 2:10 clarifies why shepherds and not royalty receive the announcement and honor.
”¦but the angel reassured them. ”Don’t be afraid! he said. ”I bring you Good News that will bring great joy to all people. Luke 2:10 (NLT)
It is in the astounding last two words of the angel proclamation, ”all people” that we realize why God chose shepherds over a king. Christ comes for all people everywhere. It doesn’t matter what you do for a living, who you are, or even what your past holds. Christ accepts you as you are and where you are. You don’t have to earn a place or hold a title. You simply accept with a humble heart that He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Realizing that Christ comes to all people everywhere with no expected return simply because God loves you is often overwhelming. It is in this overwhelming status though that joy abounds no matter what life on earth may throw at you. Your praise should overflow and be unending while your adoration of the Christ child is clear to all who see you. The joy of the gift should shine clearly upon your face so all can enjoy and want to know more about this extraordinary news.
The joy in the extraordinary Good News is sometimes lost among the grand festivities of the modern-day Christmas celebrations. If you find yourself with misplaced joy, as I recently did, consider this story.
A pastor preparing his Christmas message fell asleep in his study at the church. He dreamed that he was in a world into which Jesus never came. He walked out on the streets but there were no church spires pointing to heaven. A weeping child summoned him to visit her dying mother, but upon arriving he found his Bible ended with the Old Testament. The New Testament with all of its promises of heaven were not there as they disappeared from his Bible. He bowed his head and wept in bitter despair, for he could offer her no hope beyond the grave.
Suddenly the pastor awoke hearing the choir down the hall practicing the familiar Christmas carols. Joy suddenly filled his soul as he realized as never before why we sing, ”Joy to the World, the Lord Has Come!” (Our Daily Bread)
Accepting the Extraordinary News
It is indeed extraordinary Good News that the angels announced in the fields that Holy night to a group of ordinary shepherds. Joy permeated their souls as it should yours as you understand the hope that Christmas continues to bring.Â What is your response to the Good News? Do you have an extraordinary reply?
- Great joy (Luke 2:10)
- Praise (Luke 2:13 ”“ 14)
- Curiosity for Confirmation (Luke 2:15 ”“ 16)
- Sharing with Others (Luke 2:17)
- Amazement (Luke 2:18)
- Thoughtful mediation (Luke 2:19)
The glory of the Lord, shining all around you, is powerful and huge. God may not send you a heavenly host of angels but it doesn’t mean He isn’t active. He often works in quiet ways and so you are challenged to accept the Good News trusting with full faith the awesome wonder of the gift. Like the shepherds, convictions to share the Good News should overpower you knowing that God loves you so much He joined you on earth through the sending of His son.
The extraordinary Good News is Christ! A gift from God sent for everyone everywhere.
Fall upon your knees in adoration.
A very Merry Christmas to each and every one of you!
Love in Christ,
Bringing good news is imparting hope to one’s fellow man.
Credits Jeremia, J. M. (1967). Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus - An Investigation into Economic and Social Conditions during the New Testament Period. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. Our Daily Bread. (1992, December 20). Our Daily Bread.
What are your thoughts? Join Us in Discussion
How do you share the extraordinary Good News with Others? Is your joy evident in your celebrations of the Good News? Join us in discussion on sharing the joy of the Good News with all people everywhere.