Friday, December 16, 2011

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

Luke 2:8-12
 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, 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 Savior 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.”

Imagine that it's pitch black.  Maybe there is no moonlight tonight, so all you see is shadows, and here the sheep grazing, rustling the grass, or even sleeping.  You are just sitting there, trying not to be cold, trying not to go to sleep, when BAM!  A light as bright as the sun rains down on you.  You are alert, but you see a messenger from God.  An angel is right in front of you.  You wonder, did I go to sleep?  Am I going crazy?  You look at your friends that are with you and realize that they see the same thing.  
Then the angel tells you to not be afraid.  Is he kidding?  He pops up right in front of you and you are suppose to be happy and not worry?  Then he tells you that the Messiah has finally come.  You may not be the greenest leaf on the tree, but you do understand what this means.  You've heard the stories of a king that will come and save The People.  
What a story these shepherds had to tell their families for the rest of their lives.

While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks
Words:  Nathan Tate
Music:  G. F. Handel

1. While shepherds watched their flocks by night, 
 all seated on the ground; 
 the angel of the Lord came down, 
 and glory shone around, 
 and glory shone around. 

2. "Fear not!" said he, for mighty dread 
 had seized their troubled mind. 
 "Glad tidings of great joy I bring 
 to all of humankind, 
 to all of humankind." 

3. "To you, in David's town, this day 
 is born of David's line 
 a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, 
 and this shall be the sign,
 and this shall be the sign:" 

4. "The heavenly babe you there shall find 
 to human view displayed, 
 all meanly wrapped in swathing bands, 
 and in a manger laid, 
 and in a manger laid." 

5. Thus spake the seraph and forthwith 
 appeared a shining throng 
 of angels praising God on high, 
 who thus addressed their song, 
 who thus addressed their song: 

6. "All glory be to God on high, 
 and to the earth be peace; 
 good will henceforth from heaven to earth 
 begin and never cease, 
 begin and never cease!" 

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