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This devotion is part of the Jesse Tree Advent devotion series. 

Scripture reading: Luke 2:6-21

Into the darkness of that dank stable, a child is born. Into the darkness of the world, a light shines. From the knotty, gnarled stump of Jesse, a shoot springs up.

This is it. To you is born this day a Savior. A Savior!

The waiting is over. Hope is here. This is the olive branch in the beak of Noah’s dove, the confirmation that all is not lost. Life will flourish again.

And who gets to witness it? Who gets the privilege of being called over to see the solitary green shoot, so fresh it hasn’t yet unfurled?

The shepherds.

Not the clean, charismatic professionals with access to big marketing budgets and platforms to publicize the news. Just a shabby bunch of shepherds. Maybe it’s because they share the vocation of the one who was just born; like him, they tend and guide a dim-witted flock, prone to wandering. Maybe they’re more likely to rejoice in his birth rather than feel threatened by it. Maybe they understand best of all what his coming means.

And guess what: today, you’re among those shepherds. You get to hear the news, to be a witness. You’re invited to the birthing room of Jesus. You’re sent back to glorify and praise God for all you’ve heard and seen.

What a privilege! Cherish it. Go see the Savior and come back singing.

Prayer

Welcome, Jesus! How thrilled and grateful I am that you willingly entered into the darkness of the world to bring your light and life. The life you bring is just the beginning of a whole new creation in your Spirit. I can’t wait to see what’s yet to come. Amen.

About the author

Grace Claus is resident theologian and editor for Faithward. She's also managing editor of RCA Today, the denominational magazine of the Reformed Church in America.