Daily Devotion - December 16, 2020 - The Good Shepherd

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Reading – December 16, 2020
Ezekiel 34:11-16
Weekly Theme: God Is with Us
Today: The Good Shepherd

One of my favorite parts of the Christmas story is when God sends the angel to tell the shepherds of the birth of Christ and then a whole host of angels joins the one to sing praises to God--- “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” God, the Most High, chose shepherds, considered to be “lowly”, to be the first to hear about the birth of the Savior.

Shepherds are mentioned throughout the Old and New Testament. Today’s passage informs us of the many tasks they do. A good shepherd takes care of their flock, strengthens the weak and sick, searches for the lost, rules lovingly and gently, gathers and protects the sheep, and gives their very best to their flock.

God also chose shepherds to be the first to hear the good news of the birth of Jesus Christ because they were God’s best illustration of the love God has for us as His sheep. God searches for us and wants to rescue us. God pursues us when we wander away. The shepherds in Luke 2 remind us that the good news of Jesus Christ is meant to be shared with all. God did not choose the most elite people of the day to share the good news of Jesus’ birth. He chose humble shepherds who went with haste to Bethlehem to see this prophesy fulfilled and then went abroad to make known what they saw and were told about Jesus.

The Bible does not really tell us why God chose shepherds to be the first to share the good news about the birth of the Savior. But today’s passage reveals that God compares himself to a shepherd. Likewise, in John 10:11, Jesus, God incarnate, refers to himself as the good shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep. I believe God chose shepherds to hear and bear the good news of Jesus’ birth, because they reflect and reveal the very nature of God who wants to care for us and strengthen our spirits when we are sick and weak. God, like a shepherd, wants to rescue and protect us when we are lost or in danger. As Christians we are to respond by following the Good Shepherd with trust.

During this season, as we reflect on all the stories leading up to and surrounding the birth of Christ, let us remember the humility and tender loving care of God, as Father and Son and as our Good Shepherd, who wants to deliver us from that which drags us down or causes us to go astray. He wants to guide us and lead us in and through all that we face in life and then desires for us to go forward as the good shepherds in the story of Jesus’ birth  and share the good news of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Dear God, thank you so much for being our Good Shepherd and sending Jesus who illustrated for us your very nature as the One who delivers, redeems, and rescues us from ourselves. Help us to accept your ever presence with us, now during Advent and always. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


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