Resting in the cool of the night, watching over their flocks, the shepherds who receive the angelic announcement of the birth of Christ seem to be a picture of the accompanying promise, “peace and goodwill toward men”. The crazy thing is that now as Christmas approaches our lives can seem anything but peaceful, and rested. It seems we need to get of the merry-go-round of the world’s expectations, and our own, and find our place of rest in the cool of the night. Our Christmas challenge is to learn to let peace fill our hearts, and to rest in Jesus, trusting Him to deal with all the busyness. After all the arrival of Christ ushered in the peace and favour of God for us, and opened the door to the garden where we can once again take strolls in the garden with our loving, Heavenly Father. This is the ache of His heart, He moved heaven and earth to restore us to this place of presence with Him, even sending His Son to be the sacrifice to pave the way. So let us learn to stop and enjoy rest, and so fill our hearts with the joy and peace that comes from heaven above…walking to the beat of a different drum.
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
The word of Jesus…
“For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said:
“Today, if you will hear His voice, donot harden your hearts.”
For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.