There were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and . . . said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:8-11)
Read the full account from the Gospel of Luke HERE.
"For All the People"
I don’t know about you, but I love reading about Great Britain’s royal family. Do you remember the hullabaloo when Prince George was born? Even in the U.S. every media outlet was divulging details about the delivery, chattering about the Duchess’s dress at the first photo op, or boasting “exclusive” first photos of the royal baby.
The good news of the gospel also starts with the birth of a royal baby, but this story begins, not with press releases and worldwide attention, but in the quiet of a dirty stable in rural Bethlehem.
Of course, the event did not go entirely unannounced; God sent an entire heavenly host to proclaim the incredible news. To whom did he send the glorious, angelic chorus? Perhaps to the religious leaders or to especially devout Jews? Perhaps to great kings or prestigious socialites? No. The good news came first to sleepy shepherds on a dark hillside.
Shepherds were social outcasts, barely more dignified than the dirty, dumb animals they cared for. This is the good news; that the gospel comes first to the poor in spirit, the mourners, and the meek (see Matthew 5). If you’ve been living in shame, afraid that you aren’t worthy to receive God’s love, this good news is for you.
This story is also a reminder that as we follow Christ we are called to offer dignity and respect to outcasts, extending God’s love to others. The Savior came into this world because apart from him we are all unclean, desperate, and lost. The love of God, embodied in his son, radically redeems broken people. As you pray today, ask God to remind you of your own need for the Savior, Jesus Christ, and to give you compassion for the lost.
How to pray...
- Pray that we would believe the good news that Jesus came to save sinners.
- Pray for disenfranchised and victimized people in our community, our country, and the world: the poor, the oppressed, refugees, victims of abuse and trafficking, and those who have been affected by violence and terrorism.
- Pray for upcoming LBC outreach events: the Food Truck event, Kidtoberfest and the Winter Spark Christmas Parade in Baldwin Park.
- Pray for all of our Advent services, including Christmas Eve. Many people who usually do not attend church are receptive to the gospel during the Christmas season.
For the Family
Today we read and learn about God announcing the birth of his son to the shepherds. The shepherds were not the popular crowd but God is not impressed by a person’s position. In fact, God often uses “shepherds” to do great things for him.
Can you think of anyone that may be like the shepherds… maybe a homeless person you pass on the street or maybe a schoolmate who is not popular and has been treated unkindly by others?
As you pray today, pray for those you know who need to know that Jesus loves them even when others might be telling them they aren’t good enough, smart enough, athletic enough or cool enough to be loved. Have you ever felt like you weren’t good enough? We need to be reminded every day that God loves us and created us uniquely.
Pray that the events that our church does in the community will be a way for people who need to hear about God’s love to get connected with the unconditional love of God. Pray also that we would be willing to reach out to people around us that need God’s love just like we do!
CLICK HERE for a printable craft page!
CRAFT: As a reminder of God’s love for all people, print out the sheep coloring page. Give your child glue, cotton balls and crayons to decorate the sheep. Just as God cared about the lowly shepherds, and shepherds care for each and every one of their sheep, God cares for his people!
"For All the People" - Katie Pollard
Katie is the administrator and communications director for LBC. Katie and her husband, Joel, moved to Orlando from Nashville, TN in 2014, when Joel became the Director of Worship at LBC. They both grew up in Carrollton, GA and have been leading worship together since their youth group days. They were married in 2011 and have two children, Sam and Evie.
"For the Family" - Michelle Crouse
Michelle Crouse has served as the director of LBC's children's ministry—SPLASH Kids—since the end of 2011. She and her husband Joshua were married in 2002 and have 2 children. Michelle grew up outside of Boston and graduated from James Madison University in Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She loves being with kids and loves the opportunity to be a part of teaching children how much they are loved by God, and helping them grow in their understanding of what that means.