Daily Worship

The heavenly choir of angels

Allan Vint December 24, 2020 0 5
Image credit: Flame Nebula, Allan Vint
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Luke 2: 8-15 (NIVUK)

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’

15 When the angels 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.’

It can be quite a quiet existence being a shepherd (apart from the sound of sheep or goats perhaps). One shepherd we hear about early on in the Old Testament is Moses (at least that was his job for a time). He was out tending flocks one day near the mountain of God. The story told is of a bush bursting into flames and a voice calling out to Moses. God was speaking, He had a message and a mission for this fearful man. It turned out that God also had a mission plan for the people. What unfolds in the chapters which follow is the most remarkable tale of salvation. God was the rescuer. (See Exodus 3:1–4:17.)

Fast forward a few thousand years and again some shepherds are out minding their sheep when, this time, the heavens light up and a voice is heard. Yes, God again had a message and mission. As before he had an audacious rescue plan for women and men. It does at first seem unlikely but previous revelations of God at work gave some confidence that God is true and dependable. He had done what he had said in the past and he would undoubtedly succeed again. Even though the sights and sounds on that evening hillside were remarkable in themselves the shepherds were invited to bear witness by going to see with their own eyes what the Lord had begun.

Would the shepherds go? Well there might have been a natural trepidation, already they had to be calmed, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”


Loving Lord when we feel afraid, reassure us,
When we feel unsure of the future remind us you have plan
When we feel unworthy point us again to the Good News
That your love for us is real and reliable. Amen.