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Pastor's Column - The Eve of Nativity in Advent - 12/24/2023


“When the Angel had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in a manager. When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard this were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds retuned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” Luke 2:15-20, NIV

The Eve of Nativity in Advent: “Believing”

On our calendars we celebrate the eve of the Messiah’s birth with anticipation, excitement, and reverence. Perhaps, this is because the description we’re given in the Gospel of Luke was accurate, and resonated with the actions demonstrated by the fortunate souls who were a part of this divine happening. Luke, of course, was both a physician, and an historian; but he was foremost a disciple of the Lord; although, like you and I, not counted among the Twelve. Under divine assignment, Luke often placed along the regal and noble, the persons among the common peasantry. The shepherds were not generally accepted among the public in society. The patriarch Joseph, aware of the stigma; told his brothers to tell Pharoah they were shepherds, so they would not insult the king by sitting at the table with other Egyptians (Genesis 43:32, NIV). This disdain for shepherds persisted through the centuries, even during the birth of Christ. But it is the shepherds who, after being told of the Messiah’s birth, “ran” perhaps the two-mile distance to Bethlehem to “see for themselves” the event which the angel told them about. After the angel left the disciples, they could have remained where they were; or ran away from the eventful place. It was the determination of the Shepherds to witness and believe for themselves, the fulfillment of prophecy. It is faith that causes us to be more than people’s estimation of who we are!

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