Shepherds - The Journey to Bethlehem

Shepherds – The Journey to Bethlehem

Scripture: Luke 2:8, 15-20 (NRSVue)

Do you know who were the first people to announce that salvation has come to earth in the Christ child?  Was it dignitaries? The in-laws? Fox or CNN news? Social media influencers? Nope…shepherds. Lower-class, sometimes looked-down upon shepherds who had BO-smelling sheep and smoky campfires. Things are a bit messy in the Christmas story—like real life. We read the shepherds were living in the fields. What were the shepherds doing when they received the angelic visitation? They were doing what shepherds do. God’s plan was revealed . . . when they were just being themselves, doing their regular routine. The shepherds remind us we can encounter God in the mundane. We can be attuned to God in the regular flow of life—we’ve just got to be aware, attentive. This is our Advent challenge and the shepherds have much to teach us along our journey to Bethlehem.


December 10, 2023

 8:30 am – Alternative Worship Service Bulletin (click) 
11:00 am – Traditional Worship Service Bulletin (click)

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Sermon Art: “The Annunciation of the Shepherds” by Nicolaes Berchem, 1649


Bible Study Discussion Questions – Luke 2:8, 15-20 (NRSVue)

  1. Shepherds were poor, lower-class people in their society, at times despised by religious Jews because their work kept them away from many religious activities. Looking at verses 8-14, why do you think God chose shepherds to be the first ones to hear the good news of the birth of Jesus?
  2. After the angels leave, in verses 15-16, what do the shepherds do? What have they become?
  3. What is the shepherds’ first act after seeing and experiencing Jesus (verse 17)? Think back to the time when you experienced good news in your life. Did you want to tell others about the good thing?
  4. If we truly experience Jesus in our lives, and thus become “witnesses” to his truth as the shepherds were, how might we do practice this in Advent and Christmas?
  5. Put yourself into the passage. What feelings did the shepherds experience? Note that the shepherds left glorifying and praising God (verse 20). Is there anything in your life or experience right now for which you can praise God? Is there anything you are thankful for?




Other Sermons In This Series

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