Advent Guide: Week 3 Weekend Devotion
December 14 - December 23
Luke 2:8-9, 16-20
Scripture Readings: Luke 2:8-9,16-20
By Aaron Bryant, Campus & Teaching Pastor, The Church at Avenue South
“They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the feeding trough.” Luke 2:16
As a shepherd, taking care of sheep was not a glamorous job. Their white wool collects dust and dirt constantly. Sheep also smell very bad because it’s difficult to wash and clean them thoroughly. Since shepherds spent lots of time around sheep, they too would get dirty and smelly. Therefore, many people in the city of Jerusalem didn’t allow shepherds inside the city limits, nor would they let shepherds into the temple area to worship. Shepherds were outsiders and treated as insignificant.
God loves and cares for people, especially those that feel like they don’t belong. That’s why it’s so wonderful that when God’s long-awaited Messiah arrived in Bethlehem, shepherds were the first people God told. That’s right. God sent angels to shepherds and announced that Jesus had been born in Bethlehem. This shows us that everyone’s life has significance to God. What God says about your life is more important than what anyone else believes about you. He chose these shepherds because Jesus was starting a new kingdom-one where people who feel insignificant are given value and purpose.
The shepherds immediately ran in to Bethlehem to see Jesus for themselves. They were able to get close to Jesus and see Him with their own eyes. Then they went throughout the city telling everyone that the Savior had arrived. The shepherds were the first-ever witnesses and messengers of the good news of Jesus’ arrival. Can you imagine how important they felt that God chose them for this important task? Imagine what this said to the people in Jerusalem; it showed every person is important and has access to God.
Like the shepherds, your life matters to God, and like the shepherds, He’s inviting you to draw close to the Messiah during this Christmas season. Take a moment to pray and thank God that He cares about all people. Who can you tell the story of the shepherds to?
Build Your Own Nativity: The shepherds were the first people that God trusted with the news about His newborn Son! As you add the shepherds to your nativity scene, talk about what it means that the shepherds were the first people to visit Jesus. Can you imagine how scared they were when the angels appeared to them? How do you think they felt when they found Jesus in the manger?