Day 22 // Invitations Extended

“When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” Luke 2:17-18 (NIV)

Can you imagine the joy that must have overflowed from the hearts of those humble shepherds! They were the first to be invited to see the new born Savior! Jesus came to be both the Good Shepherd and the Lamb of God. He gave Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. These shepherds may have been caring for the flocks that would provide sacrifices for the temple services, and they got a back stage pass with full access to the birth of the Lamb of God!

When they arrived the Bible says they were glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard! It was just as they had been told by the angels! There was Mary and Joseph and the baby lying in a manger! It was too much to contain! Look at what they did next:

“When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” Luke 2:17-18 (NIV)

Isn’t that the natural response when you encounter good news? You can’t contain it. You must share it with someone! As these shepherds told their story people were amazed! They were amazed that God would have invited shepherds first, no doubt, and then were amazed at what they were told! The long-awaited Messiah had come! The shepherds were the first witnesses!

Maybe this was another reason God invited the shepherds first. They were practical, hard-working men, not given to suspicion or easily fooled. If they said that they saw angels and found the Messiah, people would believe them. It was obvious by their passion and excitement that something had happened. Even the skeptics must have been moved to check it out for themselves.

What an example for us to follow today! The shepherds had received by faith the invitation God sent them and then responded with immediate obedience. After coming to Christ, they extended the invitation to others! Wow! They took the place of the angels! Then they humbly returned to their duties, new men going back to the same old job!

Your job may not seem so spiritual, but your opportunity to extend the invitation for others to come to Christ is! When you do, you are taking the place of angels!

As we begin our Christmas Eve services, you and I have the same opportunity today! Won’t it be exciting to see those to whom we extend an invitation come to Christ this Christmas? I can’t think of a more meaningful Christmas, can you?

Make my heart like these shepherds of God. Thank you for inviting me. Show me to whom I may extend the same invitation.

Pray for all 20 Christmas Eve services on our four campuses as they begin tonight on the Fellowship Campus.

Call your family and friends and invite them to join you at one of the services.