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The Candle of Joy/Monday-December 18, 2017

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:8–11 (NASB95)

Good ole shepherds. Minding their own business, tending their sheep. They probably hadn’t showered in a while and maybe didn’t even have all of their teeth! Certainly they were no match for the ruling religious leaders of the day. I wonder if as they lay out under the stars counting their sheep, they marveled at the creation staring back at them? Surely they noticed the constellations and movement of the sky above them. What shadows might the moon have cast on those Judean hillsides. They’d probably known fear under those stars a time or two but never had they experienced an angel of the Lord appearing in the night sky and the glory of the Lord shining all around them!

Isn’t it interesting that AN angel appeared before them and calmed them with the joyful news BEFORE the multitude of heavenly host appeared WITH the angel? Had everyone appeared at once, those shepherds might have died of fright that night and missed the good news that Jesus had been born!

What overwhelming circumstance are you facing today? Just as God brought the Good News to the shepherds in a manner they could receive, He will do the same for you. Though this Christmas season may be riddled with memories, questions, doubts, fears or heartache, He will meet you with good news of great joy. Listen for it!

Living It Out – Perspective is a funny thing. Our greatest need has been met. Our biggest fear has been eradicated. Our hopelessness has been banished, yet we allow The Good News of great joy to escape us in the everydayness of life. Notice that the angel did not appear to A shepherd but to shepherdS. Plural. Ask a friend to partner with you in memorizing a verse or more of Scripture that will help you maintain your perspective and quickly move from fear to faith when trouble strikes.

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