People don’t necessarily think much of shepherds. We’ve covered that much. But these shepherds are models for all of us. They encounter the angelic host and are moved by the message. We can easily be ‘moved’ without actually moving. The shepherds were moved to action. From the testimony of others (the angels), they were moved to see this baby and testify of the things they’ve heard. As you read, take note of what happened after they encountered Mary and Joseph.
Read Luke 2.15-20
Did you notice that? Their story was compelling. Imagine Mary’s bewilderment. It has been a fantastic promise coming to fruition, but could it really be true? Might she be confused? Her faith has been resolute so we don’t want to assume the worst, but if there was any wavering, the testimony of these unlikely heralds, shepherds, would calm those fears. It gave her wonderful images to ponder in her heart.
But there’s more. I love the rest of the shepherds’ story. There isn’t much to it, but it is a story that lingers, that carries on. They encounter Jesus in the manger. They tell Mary the story. And they can’t stop. They’re changed. They continue to worship and delight in what they’ve experienced.
It’s the day after Christmas. There are probably sales to get to and errands to run. I understand things need to get done, but don’t forget to keep an attitude of worship. Christmas is a time to re-focus, but it isn’t a time to re-focus and then forget. It’s a time to re-focus and stay as focused as we can to live like Jesus, to incarnate God’s presence into the lives of those we touch. Don’t forget to worship Jesus today – and stay focused on doing it throughout the New Year, too.
This series of blog posts will go through January 1. I hope it helps you dwell in the Advent season and move into the new year with that same awareness of God’s presence in your life as you take His presence to others.