Petrified Shepherds

Imagine this:

“All right, listen up you guys!” The chattering of hundreds of angel voices calmed slightly but the bantering still went on. “Come on. Quiet! Look up here!” The head angel, a stern-looking fellow about 6’8” tall, clapped his hands and reluctantly the angels turned from their animated conversations to listen to their leader.

In the back stood two angels who had been friends, it seemed like forever. Let’s call them Clyde and Fred. Fred was as big as his chief but didn’t think quite as fast. Clyde ran to the skinny side and it was rare that his mouth was quiet for more than 59 seconds at a time.

“Okay, fellows,” the chief said. “We’ve all had assignments–carrying messages, saving God’s people in trouble, all that. But none of us has EVER had an assignment like this one tonight!”

He had their attention now, because some of them had been in on some BIG happenings and if this was bigger than those, they were in for some action.

“First of all, you see those shepherds down there?” he indicated a band of shepherds, hanging out, telling stories, and watching their sheep on the dark hillside below. “They can’t see us yet but we’re going to appear to them with a message.”

At this Clyde’s face broke into a wide smile. “I love it when we appear suddenly,” he whispered out of the side of his mouth to Fred. “They get this deer-in-the-headlights look on their face! It scares them to death.” Chuckle, chuckle.

“Hey there in the back … Clyde, Fred … cut it out or you’ll be on detail in Afghanistan.” “Yes, sir,” Clyde said, but the wide grin was still plastered on his face as he anticipated the startled reactions of the shepherds.

“Okay, I go first with the message,” the head angel continued. “Then you guys appear and sing out.”

“Is this going to be rap, jazz, or classical?” Fred questioned.

The head angel shot him an impatient look, “You’ll not have to ask,” he growled. “When you hear this message, your part will come naturally from God’s Spirit.

“Any more questions? Okay. Let’s go for it.”

Snoring sheep and sleepy shepherds snapped awake as heavenly light flashed across the hillside and pierced everything with a celestial glow. Wide-eyed they saw the angel leader approaching. (Up in invisible places, Clyde stifled a guffaw, “I told you!” But then even he got serious because the glory of God is no laughing matter, even for an angel).

The angel tried to calm the shaky shepherds:

“Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. This very day in King David’s hometown a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. You will know who he is, because you will find him dressed in baby clothes and lying on a bed of hay.” (CEV, Luke 2:10-12)

Up in the invisible place where the other angels waited, the message boomed through them, just like it did among the shepherds. “The Saviour born? Christ the Lord? So, God moves into action with His great plans to save men!!!”

The angels were so excited and happy they almost missed their cue, but at the last minute someone yelled, “Let’s go for it!” and there they were, a whole army of angels glorifying the Lord Jesus. Fred wasn’t laughing anymore but caught up in the power of his message he sang his lungs out,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14, KJV)

It must have been a minute before the shepherds’ hearts started to beat again, but when they finally got hold of themselves they decided to go find Jesus.

What better reaction to the angels’ message? We read the message in God’s Word (minus my imagination). Let’s have the same reaction—let’s run to Jesus. A Savior has been born for us.

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