Journey to Bethlehem: Come and Worship

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The shepherds are my favorite people among all those in the Christmas events.
Don’t get me wrong, I like them all, but the shepherds are my favorite. They are the most like ordinary guys than anyone else. Zechariah and Elizabeth are great role models for us, dealing with decades of infertility. But He is a priest and she is the daughter of a priest.
Mary and Joseph seem pretty close to ordinary, but when God declares that she has found favor with God right at the introduction, you know Mary is a pretty special young lady.
The Wise Men from the east are also in a special class. Some liken them to royalty, thus the phrase—three kings of orient. Others see them more as members of a special class of counselors and advisers to rulers much like the prophet Daniel was in his day.
But the shepherds—these are just some earthy men, eking out a living in one of the most humble trades of the day. Nothing glorious to the job. They had to be a faithful bunch to watch sheep all night long to keep them safe from predators and rustlers. They had to look out for the welfare of one of the dumbest class of livestock. The shepherds in Bethlehem had extra responsibilities. Since their sheep were most likely designated for sacrifice, the sheep had to be kept unmarred or unblemished in order to qualify for a temple sacrifice. This meant that the shepherds had to make a wide berth around thorny hedges and the like that might tear at their flesh.
Alone on the hills at night, they probably exchanged stories, jokes and whatever news they scraped together during short trips to town to stock up on some provisions. But many would never see town, having taken refuge in the shepherd’s role to avoid detection from authorities due to earlier violations of the law.
On that chilly winter night, they would have been out in complete darkness, bathed only by the light of hundreds of stars and the moon. Perhaps they had a small fire going. But otherwise, complete darkness until the angel shattered that darkness with a brightness that rivaled the sun. To recap that moment in the scriptures, let us stand together and read…
Luke 2:1-19
The first thing that strikes me is their terror.  Read more here…

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