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And in the same region there were shepherds out in the
field keeping watch over their flock by night (Luke 2:8).
Writing Christmas cards is not always the most fun thing
to do, especially when you have stacks and stacks of
them. But it sure is fun to open the mailbox and find it
stuffed with Christmas cards, announcing Jesus' great
birth. We cover our front door with the cards mailed to us.
A Christmas greeting and announcement was one of the
most memorable things about the first Christmas too.
Now that His Son is born, it is time for God to send out
announcements to let the world know. What better
messengers than angels? Interestingly, God didn't
choose rich, prominent, important people to be the first
to hear the glad tidings of the Christmas angel. Instead,
He chose poor, lowly shepherds and sent His angel to
give them the very first Christmas announcement.
Shepherds didn't have the best reputation at the time,
especially in their local synagogues or churches. But
theirs was still an important and ancient profession.
Adam and Eve's second son Abel was a shepherd,
before he was murdered by his jealous brother Cain.
Jesus' own human ancestors Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob had all been shepherds, as had been another
famous ancestor, King David.
In time Jesus would show the greatest honor to
shepherds, taking that title as His own and calling
Himself the "Good Shepherd." Like these shepherds,
Jesus was willing to lay down His life to protect His
sheep. Unlike them, He could lay it down on the cross
and take it up again on the third day. This He did so
He would always stand guard over His flock, and gather
us together as His own.
Lord Jesus, our Good Shepherd, thank You for laying
down Your life and taking it up again for us. Guard and
keep us in this faith until the day of Your returning.
(Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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