Come and See (Luke 2:8-20)
“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. ‘Don’t be afraid!’ he said. ‘I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.’ Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.’ When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
Our family loves Christmas. One of our favorite things this time of year is Christmas music. While we love all the traditional and fun carols, we also love to find Christmas music that is Christ centered.
Living in Ireland there are very few Christian resources, so often times we learn of an album or song later than most. “Noel”, penned by Chris Tomlin, is one such song. A couple of weeks ago, searching for Christmas worship on the internet, we came across this beautiful song.
A phrase in “Noel” captured my attention and heart, “Come and see what God has done.” Chris Tomlin had the desire for those who listen to his “Adore” Christmas worship album to take away that very phrase. “Come and see what God has done” has echoed in my mind and I have pondered this in my heart. After all, shouldn’t that be the message at Christmas to everyone?
I began to reflect on the shepherds in Luke’s account in the Gospels. In Luke 2:8-20, we have an account of the most wonderful revelation to a group of shepherds. At that time, shepherds were generally seen as having low or little value by other people. The shepherds were quietly getting on with their own business when suddenly an angel appeared to them. Interrupting this quiet, dark night was the shining presence of an angel and the glory of the Lord.
This first angel brought good tidings (literally, it means he preached the gospel) to these shepherds, who were regarded as social outcasts (reference: David Guzik) The angel in a sense was telling the shepherds, “Come and see what God has done.”
The shepherds were lowly, unknown, and obscure. Yet, the angel of the Lord appears to them, announces the birth of the Savior, and they—responding in simple faith—come and see what God has done, the child Jesus! The shepherds then went on their way, telling others “Come and see what God has done.”
They shared the good news of a Savior—a Savior who brought change to them in a personal way. The people they told could have been those they saw on the way back to their flocks, friends and relatives in Bethlehem and Jerusalem, the 'middle class' people they sold sheep to… anyone. The shepherd’s good news amazed all who heard it. Even if they didn’t really understand it, they recognised that something significant had happened. Their message was simple: “Come and see what God has done.”
Do we look at the birth of Christ as simply some tradition that is played out every December? Or, do we sincerely accept the amazing message and true purpose for Christ's coming to earth? Do we reflect the message “Come and see what God has done?”
The shepherds’ lives were changed forever on that night. And unless the Christmas story changes our lives, too, we have missed its real meaning and purpose. By God sending His Son for me, my life has been forever changed.
My message to others this Christmas needs to be, “Come and see what God has done.” The message of Christ born as a baby is personal, practical, present and for all mankind. Jesus’ birth brings Glory to God. Jesus’ birth brings change within the hearts of those who receive Him.
In early December (the seventh and eighth) we will host a Christmas Outreach, “Heaven Sent,” here in Sligo. This will be one of our many steps, but a big one, in our venture of a new Calvary Church-plant. Calvary Sligo. Salt to Souls. Light for Life! Our hope is to reach the hearts of those who are “unchurched” and the bystanders. To share with them “Come and see what God has done” for you!
Be part of what God is doing. We have needs inexpressible. The Lord knows them all.
Please pray and…please let us know you're praying!
by Deanna Tebbe, Missionary to Sligo, Ireland