Several years ago, I attended an outdoor concert with all my favorites. It was held at Red Rocks in Colorado, which is my favorite outdoor amphitheater. It was a concert by Casting Crowns, which is my favorite Christian musical group. It was with Erin and her daughters, my favorite girls to hang out with.
Can you imagine…the brisk coldness of a Colorado night? The sweet harmony of your favorite group, while sitting under the twinkling stars with your favorite humans? It is one of my favorite concert memories.
Despite being my favorite concert memory, I also remember on that evening feeling unworthy of God’s love and of His benevolence. I remember thinking I was unworthy of that moment of complete and total contentment.
In Luke 2:8-14, scripture tells us of another outdoor concert for people who may have also felt that moment of unworthiness that I experienced.
Verse 8 of this passage tells us that shepherds were watching their flocks. Shepherds were not necessarily the most respectable people. They were transient and had a reputation of taking items that they needed from those whose towns they were passing through (for the record, we could refer to this as “stealing”). In the times of the New Testament, shepherds were not allowed to even give testimony in a court of law, as they were seen as unreliable.
Suddenly, in verse 9, an angel of the Lord appears to these unruly and unreliable shepherds and they were scared. I think this is one of the most understated things written in this passage. “They were frightened”?!?!?!? Seriously, if an angel of the Lord appeared right now, I would be scared too!!!
In verse 10-12, the shepherds are reassured by the angel and told of the newborn baby who was born as a Savior for them…for those shepherds who were considered so unreliable they couldn’t even testify in court.
Next we get the privilege to read about the first outdoor concert, when a “multitude of heavenly army of angels” appear and praise God. First of all, that’s a lot of angels. Secondly, if they are speaking, or “singing” all at the same time, it had to have been such a sweet-sweet sound!
Take a moment and think about your attendance at an outdoor concert. Perhaps it was a real event, or it could be one of your imagination. Now ponder on how this experience would compare to that of the shepherds during that first outdoor concert in a field.
They were unworthy with a negative reputation. That’s how I’ve felt before. And yet, God chose them to make the first proclamation of the birth of Christ. He chose them to hear that first outdoor concert.
As we get closer to Christmas, the date we celebrate the birth of that Savior, know this…you are chosen too. It doesn’t matter what your reputation is or how unworthy you may feel. God has chosen you, just as He chose the shepherds.
Imagine an outdoor concert. And know you are invited to hear the singing.
“In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock at night.And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood near them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. And so the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army of angels praising God and saying,‘Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among people with whom He is pleased.’’ Luke 2:8-14 (NASB)