----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Rob Smith <email@example.com>
Sent: Sunday, December 25, 2016 7:36 AM
Subject: Let us go to Bethlehem and see...
Luke 2:15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us."
This Christmas morning we should follow the recommendation of the shepherds. They just had a very "un-shepherd-like" experience with a lot of angels. It probably started out as a night, like all nights, filled with the blackness of sky and quiet except for the occasional cry of a lamb or crackle of the fire. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared to them. Imagine what that was like! Apparently they were clear that this was an angel and he was from the Lord. The angel has a specific message telling them of a newcomer to earth. This newcomer had three key identifying characteristics: He was (1) a Savior, (2) Christ and (3) the Lord. The shepherds needed a Savior because they were, like all men, sinners who couldn't "self correct" their separation from God. The shepherds needed one commissioned and specifically sent by God...the Christ...because no one else would have the power or authority to restore them. The shepherds needed the Lord, Himself, to come because no one else could walk in the flesh without being consumed by it and no one else could pay the price needed to restore them to the Father.
The angels were the first witness of God coming in the flesh and the shepherds responded to their witness and went to see for themselves. After they went to find the baby they did two things: they witnessed to Mary and Joseph and others what the angels had told them and they worshiped and glorified the Lord. They heard the message. They went to Bethlehem to confirm it. They believed the message and were changed...they were shepherds who now had become sheep of the Great Shepherd.