"And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them."(Luke 2:15-20)
Today's Morsel: A few weeks ago I was teaching adult Sunday School, and I asked the class why the angels first appeared to the shepherds to tell them that Jesus was born? It was a question that took everyone by surprise. I believe the reason was to fulfill prophecy. The Lord had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah, "And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart" (Jeremiah 3:15-17). The shepherds represent the pastors and it is the pastors who are responsible for feeding and taking the oversight for the flock of God. Once a man or woman of God is called to the pastorship, their basic duty is to feed and care for God's flock. They are to also make known to a lost and dying world that the Savior has come and they are to lead others to the fold. Peter admonishes, "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away"(1 Peter 5:2-4).
Sing: If when you give, the best of your service, telling the world, that the Savior has come, be not dismayed, if men don't believe you, He'll understand and say, "Well done!"
Oh when I come to the end of my journey, weary of life and the battle is won, carrying the staff and the cross of redemption, He'll understand and say well done!