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The Characters of Christmas: Shepherds

As believers we must understand that the gospel reaches all people.


Christmas time is filled with tradition. One tradition that some families have is to read the Christmas story on Christmas morning before gifts are open. Chances are good the story you chose to read from the Bible is Luke 2:1-20. In these verses God teaches us that a census has been ordered in the land. Residents are to return to the city of their lineage. This brings Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, because they are in the line of David. While they are there, the Son of God is born, just as prophesied in Scripture. Out in the field’s shepherds are watching their flocks. The shepherds, these characters of Christmas, provide a different perspective on the Christmas story, reminding us that the gospel reaches all people.

A Message of Hope Is Heard

“I never thought this could happen in my town,” said the residents of this tiny southern town when they learned the news of the horrific crime. Paul Rickenbacker had walked into the local mall and fatally wounded many of the townspeople. He was soon captured and taken into custody. His crime and arrest made national news and was the talk of the country, because it was the largest tragedy in history at a public venue. When arrested, Paul confessed to the crime and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole. The town was ecstatic when they heard of Paul’s life sentence. They hated this man.

In Luke’s gospel we learn that on the same day Jesus is born in Bethlehem, there are shepherds in the fields around Bethlehem who are doing their job, watching over their flocks. Shepherds were not a very popular group of people. They were considered social misfits, thieves, and religious outcasts. They were considered unclean and were ...

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David Karn is the Senior Pastor at Grace Community Church in Goldsboro, NC.

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