I have seen some very cool birth announcements. I like the ones where they show the different shoes next to baby shoes, or when they put a big brother or sister shirt on the soon to be older brother or sister. There are some very creative ideas out there. I must admit, when we announced Madelyn’s upcoming birth we had a great idea in our minds, but it didn’t come out quite as cool as I expected. We used Christmas stockings and a Christmas tree. We had to set it up and decorate it in April, but we did it. We made a little pink stocking to represent Madelyn’s approaching arrival, but also that she was a Madelyn and not a ……(not sure what a boy would have been named). It was fun. There are so many ideas out there that I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of the new and fun creative ways of announcing a new baby. I don’t know what they did throughout history to make the announcement, but I think the idea of doing something big and cool is definitely a God thing I mean, He used an Angelic Choir for goodness sake. He had a star shine just right in the sky to lead 3 kings to come for the babies 3rd Birthday. I mean, He went all out.
The story of that First Christmas, the birth of Christ, is often told. It has been told in film, in written version, as a story around a fireplace. Our family always reads it on Christmas morning before we pray and exchange gifts. It is an amazing story. We always remember the angels, the manger, the innkeeper, and of course Mary, Joseph, and the Baby…THE Baby. We mention the Shepherds in passing most of the time, but is there more significance to the fact that Christ’s birth was announced by the greatest choir of all time to the lowliest profession in that time and area?
I had a supervisor at a previous job who also owned sheep. He used to tell me stories of how mean, dumb, and dirty they were. It made sense that after working with them, he was often in need of a good cleaning himself. These dirty guys, hanging out on a hillside were the ones who received the greatest announcement of al time from the most amazing heralds of all time. I have to believe that is significant.
Christ is called our Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14). If you look throughout scripture the word shepherd is used over and over to describe His relationship to us. An article “Shepherds” By Anthony D. Palma on www.ag.org lists these distinctive types of Shepherd comparisons for Chrit. In Matthew’s quotation from Micah 5, Jesus is called the one “who will shepherd My people Israel” (2:6*). the Lamb “shall be their shepherd [literally, ‘shall shepherd them’], and shall guide them to springs of the water of life” (Rev 7:17). Jesus is further called the Great Shepherd of the sheep (Hebrews 13:20) and the One Shepherd (John 10:16; cf., Ezekiel 34:23; 37:24). Peter called him the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4); one writer suggests the translation is“Master-Shepherd.”
The Great News of Christ’s birth was brought to shepherds who chose to
respond, to worship, and to share that news with the whole countryside. The news was given to people who instinctively reacted to it the way Christ reacts to His flock and the way He has called His disciples to react to the news of His death and resurrection. He told Peter that day on the beach, “Feed My Sheep.”
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6 NIV) We are like sheep in how we act. We are like sheep in how we wander and need guidance. The Greatest Message of all time from the most Magnificent Heralds of all time was brought to the lowliest people of that time, because we needed to know what Christ has in store for us. We need to know that He will keep us from want; lead us beside still waters; prepare a table before us in the presence of our enemies; and He will annount our heads with oil. We have a dwelling that is eternal and prepared for us in the House of our Lord. He is My Shepherd.