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Imagine the Shepherds

Week 3. Thursday

And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”

This morning, try to imagine the shepherds. You’ve heard this story so much that the extraordinary has become normal. But think again. These were normal shepherds, doing their normal job, on a normal night, when suddenly something happens that changes everything, and changes it forever. This is the core truth of the incarnation. Jesus — who is the King we have been waiting for, who is the Way we have been looking for, who is the presence of God made manifest — changes everything! He comes into our ordinary and makes it extraordinary. Nothing will be the same again, because Emmanuel is coming.

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