“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.'”
Luke 2:15-17 (NIV)
“So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child…” Luke 2:15-17 (NIV)
In most Christian denominations there is a clear distinction between the “clergy” and the “laity”. However, as we study the Scripture we see that all kinds of people preached and taught the Gospel who were not of a special class of church members.
From the lowly shepherds preaching about Jesus at His birth to the woman who went to the empty tomb and returned to Jerusalem and told about the resurrection of Christ, we read stories of ordinary followers of Jesus proclaiming the truth about Him.
We should never think that the only ones who can tell the old old story of Jesus and His love are trained “clergy”. In fact what all Christians are charged with is the responsibility to be witnesses to the Saviour.
A witness does not need to have special training to testify nor do witnesses require lessons in public speaking. All the qualification a witness needs is to remember a situation they experienced. A witness is qualified to testify simply on the basis of being at an event and seeing or hearing something happen.
All the lowly shepherds did was relate the message they had received from the angel and how they verified the angel’s story by going and finding the child. This is all the expertise the shepherds had.
As Christians we need to follow the example of the shepherds and simply tell others what we know about the work of the Lord in our lives. We do not need to be experts in the art of persuasion. It is the work of God to produce acceptance of our testimony in the hearts of our listeners.
You may be a lay preacher today as you tell all you know about how the Lord has come into your life and what you have learned from the Bible about Him. Go and witness about Jesus today and you will find the Holy Spirit blessing your testimony to the good of others. The Christmas message is something to be shared not hoarded.