Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC
Saturday, December 24, Morning
By Fran Wheeler
The Blessing of Christmas
Read: Psalm 23:1-3a ESV
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.”
It’s no accident that shepherds and sheep were included in the glorious birth of Jesus. In scripture, God’s people are often compared to wandering sheep, needing shepherds. And Jesus often referred to himself as our shepherd. But before that, Jesus was born the Lamb of God.
Imagine the night on the hills around Bethlehem.
In the sky was an unfamiliar star, casting bright light over the countryside. No one, especially not shepherds who spent their nights outside, could have missed that phenomenal star. Its light filled the whole sky! As the shepherds gazed upward, an Angel suddenly appeared, terrifying them! The Angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I bring you joyful news. A savior has been born to you in Bethlehem. Go, find the baby who is lying in a manger.”
Dumbfounded, they were mesmerized as a great company of the Heavenly Host appeared, praising God: “Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth, peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
They ran down the hill to Bethlehem and found the baby, the newborn Lamb of God, lying in a manger just as they had been told. This baby would grow up to become the Good Shepherd, watching over his sheep. And that’s us. We are his sheep.
Jesus our Shepherd, leads us into green pastures and beside still waters. He protects us from the evil one. When we find ourselves in dark places, he restores our souls. And when we go astray, he searches for us and brings us back home. Surely goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives, and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
That’s the blessing of Christmas.
Oh Lord, we need your tender care, and knowing you watch over us comforts us. Thank you for never leaving us alone and unguarded. Amen.