Story in Scripture: Luke 2: 15-20
This week is the week that we celebrate the role of the Shepherds in the Christmas story. These men were literally on the very outskirts of community when God included them in this incredble story. They were considered unclean, separate, and apart. As important as their work was in the culture of the time, the way in which they worked was not respected as you might think it should be. And yet, in that amazing moment, and angel of God appeared to them. In our storytelling, we explain: “They were afraid. Their hearts were beating so loudly. When they could hear something besides their own hearts, they thought they heard singing in the sky! That also scared them until they heard the words of the song. The angels were singing, “Do not be afraid.” Angels often say that, because it is scary to have a messenger of God come to you. The angels singing sounded something like this: “Don’t be afraid. We bring you tidings of great joy. Peace on earth and good will to everyone. A Child is born. Go. Hurry. Run to Bethlehem to see the Child who will change everything.” How wonderful it is that God includes us all, even those on the periphery, in His story. Whether others consider us worthy, God does. At the risk of being redundant, may I encourage you to create an atmosphere of preparation in your home during this Advent season. It’s easy to focus on the planning and busy-ness of Christmas presents and family visits. Spending intentional time reading what the prophets said about Jesus’ coming, praying quietly to know the ‘way to go,’ and focusing our thoughts on the glory of Jesus’ birth will make space for the importance of Christmas as we begin Advent. Then the Christmas presents and family visits can be truly enjoyed in the context of the miracle of Jesus’ birth and our salvation through Him. Remember, there are many resources available for checkout in the Trinity Kids Advent Library in the Gathering Room.
Guiding Questions for Discussion:
I wonder how the Shepherds must have felt when they first saw the angel?
I wonder if they thought they were dreaming?
I wonder what they talked about after the angels were gone?
I wonder what they expected to find when they got to Bethlehem?
Last week, we talked about Mary and Joseph on the long a difficult road to Bethlehem… I wonder what was difficult about the journey of the Shepherds?
I wonder why God decided to include the Shepherds in the story of Jesus’ birth?
“Loving Father, thank you for the story of the Shepherds. We know that you want all people to be a part of your story. We are glad that you want us to be a part of your family, even when we don’t think we deserve to be. Christmas is coming, Father! Help us to get our hearts ready to celebrate and be glad. Jesus is coming!! Amen.”