“After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished…” (Luke 2: 17-18)
For many years I have wondered why God told the shepherds what He was about to do when He put Christmas in place. We have seen that the first Christmas happened relatively quietly. The people who were told about the first Christmas played an important role in that great intervention of God into history. Zechariah and his wife needed to know because they were to be the parents of John the Baptist, the last and the greatest of the Messianic prophets. Mary needed to know because she was to be the birth mother of God. Joseph needed to know how and why his beautiful young fiancé became pregnant. But why did the shepherds need to know about the miracle of that first Christmas?
I am convinced that a clue to the answer can be found when we realize that unbelief shut the mouth of the first person to know about this miracle. Mary, who is such a marvelous example for us, was so filled with awe and questions that she did not share the miracle. However, these lowly simple shepherds told everybody what they had been told and seen for themselves.
As we consider the Christmas that shall be we must follow the example of the shepherds and tell people who have no hope the good news that God is going to do Christmas again when Jesus Christ intersects human history a second time. Will you prayerfully consider telling people about the Christmas that was and the Christmas that shall be?
Will you give hopeless people a reason to hope?