Part 6 in a series ending on Christmas Day with his birth.
John Long Elementary School had a milk program meaning we were given a carton of milk to go with our sack lunch. At 11:45 AM the milk monitor left with the number of cartons needed, would state the teacher’s name, and return with the milk. It was a huge privilege to be milk monitor, it was earned by being an outstanding student, which sometimes was me. I felt so grown up with such responsibility. I was the messenger of my class; because of me, they got milk!
God used messengers: prophets, teachers, and sometimes angels. On the night of Jesus’ birth an angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds in a field. God’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified, but the angel calmed their angst. He gave them good news of great joy, a Savior had been born in the town of David. Here was an angel of the Lord, a messenger immersed in splendent glory, proclaiming Emmanuel’s birth. God had come near. The shepherds found the new born Messiah. When they left him, they left glorifying and praising God.
These were simple men, not wealthy or noble, or of royal blood. They weren’t priests or rabbis or Sadducees or Pharisees. They were just sheep herders who, except for Mary and Joseph, were the first to see the new born Christ. Imagine, plain shepherds coming to see the savior of the world. And where did they find him? He was in a manger, not a feeding trough; but a hewn out stone floor used for feeding livestock.
Do you think the shepherds told anyone? Did they keep this to themselves? I’m guessing no. Perhaps the simple shepherds had themselves become messengers of mercy. The glorious angel came to deliver the message; the illuminated shepherds left to share the message.
Milk monitor was a pretty awesome thing. But it suddenly seems less than a messenger sharing the good news of great joy.
Today, in the town of David, a Savior has been born; he is Christ the Lord.