What is your work schedule like? Is it nine to five, four to midnight, or the graveyard shift?
Is it an everyday commute or do you work from home?
Do you sit at a desk or are you often in front of a room full of people?
Do you work on a farm, arising with the crowing of the rooster and going to sleep at the same time that the animals are nestled warmly in the barn?
Perhaps, you are retired and can pick and choose each day what you are going to do to fill the hours.
Is it dark when you begin and dark when you are done?
If so, during the cold, dark, December, nighttime hours, does it help that often the streets are lined with houses adorned with lights?
Christmas lights are one of my favorite things during the holidays. They brighten up the night sky. They illuminate the darkness. For me, because I almost always went to work in the dark, the twinkling Christmas lights made the twenty-minute commute so much better. It is the loveliness of light in the darkness. I’m happy if some extreme Christmas lovers put them up on November 1stand don’t take them down until the end of January, or February, or March…okay that’s enough. It is for me a beautiful reminder that the Light of the world has come.
Now, let’s think back a couple thousand years. There were no Christmas lights. Decorated houses did not line the streets. Some of the workers did their jobs outdoors under the night sky. It’s where we find shepherds. Luke 2:8 says, “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.”
Their job was to take care of the sheep. Their nighttime job was to keep watch over them. We have no idea how many shepherds there were. Three, five, ten? How big was the flock? How many predators did the shepherds have to fend off? How much excitement was there watching sheep sleep?
But one night, things changed drastically from the norm. “An angel of the appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.” Luke 2:9
It wasn’t exactly Christmas lights but the night sky was definitely illuminated. The glory of the Lord shone around. That would be like the best Christmas display ever!
But these shepherds didn’t know it was Christmas, and they were terrified. They had no idea that the most important news that had ever been shared, was going to be told to them. At that time, shepherds were considered to be pretty low. They were on the bottom rung of the ladder of success. Yet, ordinary, lowly, most likely dirty, unsuspecting field workers, were about to hear life changing, world changing, eternity changing news.
The Light of the world had come.
God chose to give that news first to the shepherds, but He also has given it to us.
The Light of the world has come.