My Journey in the Far North

thoughts, inspiration, devotions and recipes from my journey in the far north

Locking In – Four Responses to God’s Glory: The Shepherds December 28, 2009

Filed under: Locking In — tlobner @ 7:59 am

Refrain: Go, tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain,
That Jesus Christ is born.

While shepherds kept their watching
Over silent flocks by night
Behold throughout the heavens
There shone a holy light.


The shepherds feared and trembled,
When lo! above the earth,
Rang out the angels chorus
That hailed the Savior’s birth.


Down in a lowly manger
The humble Christ was born
And God sent us salvation
That blessèd Christmas morn.

John W. Work Jr.

I love how when I focus on something, I find others doing the same study or focus.  I am able to glean from their knowledge.  Just a few weeks ago, I was listening to a sermon from Lance Hahn, Pastor at Bridgeway Christian Church in Rocklin, CA, and his Christmas sermon was on the Shepherds.  He used the same passage I’m looking at now (Luke 2:8-20).  His focus was that God used the everyday working men to be the first to proclaim that Jesus was born.  Lance first pointed to Psalm 23 and the book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller, to give some indication of the life of a shepherd, especially noting that being a shepherd is a tough life…especially back in the days when Jesus was born.  Lance noted how the shepherds had to be strong, tough, ready to fight and protect his flock from animals and thiefs.  Lance noted that these guys were not your average city workers, they were the tough guys.  Think construction work, think western movie bad guys…these shepherds were tough and maybe even a little scary…you would definitely want them to be on your side in a fight…

…But God sent His angels to deliver a message to these shepherds.  These guys heard the announcement first.  Birth announcements normally all soft and sweet and pastel-ly; the birth announcement of Jesus was first sent to these rough and tumble shepherds.

…But their response to the announcement is super surprising…they said, “Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem!  Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”  Go…

They “ran” to the village and found Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus. I’m sure after a search because the directions where to find a baby were a little sketchy.  They were told to find a baby laying in a manger, wrapped “snugly in strips of cloth.”    See…

After they saw Jesus, they ran around town telling everyone about it…I’m sure this was a sight to see because these big tough guys were giddy about the birth of a baby…one of those ‘aahhh’ moments…anyway…they went to tell the good news of Jesus’ birth. Like Lance said, these guys were the first missionaries or preachers.  Tell…

Go, tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain,
That Jesus Christ is born.

The response of the shepherds is something for us to follow.  We need to tell others about Jesus, not just about His birth, but the purpose of His birth, His life, His sacrifice, His resurrection, His plan for us.  That’s what we share. 

We didn’t get the opportunity to See but we do get the opportunity to Go and Tell.

When Jesus was talking to Thomas (when Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection), Thomas had to see because he didn’t believe the news of Jesus’ resurrection.  Jesus told him to look at the wounds and to touch Him.  Then, Jesus said in John 20:29 “You believe because you have seen me.  Blessed are those who haven’t seen me and believe anyway.”  That’s us…we believe when we haven’t seen.

Now it’s our duty to Go and Tell.

Go, tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain,
That Jesus Christ is born.


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