• Mount Tabor UMC

Devotional for December 3

(NIV) Luke 2: 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

Has an angel ever appeared before you? Not an angel in the form of a kind person who seems to swoop in to lend assistance just as a catastrophe is about to happen, but a true heavenly angel shining in radiance before you. Most of us would probably answer “no”. But those chosen shepherds experienced just that over two thousand years ago: a heavenly angel bringing hope and joy of the Savior’s birth. These shepherds bore witness to a prophecy fulfilled; an everlasting hope and joy brought to all God’s children forevermore. While we may never have the profound fortune of being in the presence of a heavenly angel, we can always trust in the hope of the Lord to sustain us through whatever trials present in life. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13) this Christmas season and always.

Written by Chelsea Swaim