April 27

Luke 2:8-10 8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

The shepherds must have relayed this amazing story to Mary, who in turn relayed it to Luke. This is one of the many authentications of the truth of the Gospel events. If the Gospel writers were making this up, they would never have had the initial announcement go to shepherds and magi.

Shepherds were considered second-class citizens of the day. Their testimony was considered unreliable. They were often the first to be held in suspicion when thefts occurred. Shepherding had fallen as far as it could fall in the thousand years between King David and Jesus. No, if Luke were making up this story, he never would have chosen the shepherds to be the recipients of an angelic announcement, yet this fits perfectly with God's style.

Remember in yesterday evening's devotion that Mary's prophetic words declared that God lifts up the humble? He fills the hungry with good things, but He sends the rich away empty. The first to visit the manger were humble shepherds. The Gospel is not for those who are full. It is for those who are empty.The despised and lowly find angels revealing good news.

The angels' announcement said this is good news for all people. It is not just for the Jew or just for the poor. It is for all those that are hungry, for all those who are seeking, and for all who are willing to receive. Could there be any greater joy than knowing that God loved us so much that He sent His Son to make a way for us to come to Him? It is still good news of great joy for all the people. Have you found it to be the great joy of your life? If not, it may be that you have not realized all that this birth means to you.

Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you why this should be your great joy.