Shepherds and Angels
What’s happening in this scene?
And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’Luke’s Gospel chapter 2 verses 8-14
God had planned this even longer ago:
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.Isaiah chapter 9 verse 2
What does it mean today?
Shepherds aren’t used to receiving news: they tend to live solitary lives, far away from civilisation, and they do essential but hard and sometimes dangerous work, often in darkness. A sky full of light in the middle of the night, a message of good news brought especially for them – it must have been confusing. But they were persuaded that it was real and that they could believe it. God’s love extended even to everyone, even them.
How can we respond?
Even today, we rely on those who work on the land for our food and their work is often lonely and challenging, especially as changing weather patterns affect the growth of crops and the pandemic increases a sense of isolation. The Farming Community Network provides support and a listening ear for farmers and their families, who are experiencing dark times in their lives and need to know that someone cares.