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.”
I feel bad for the shepherds in the Gospel of Luke sometimes. Really.
Everyone prior to this…Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, and even Joseph (better late than never!) get SOME indication that a thing extraordinary will happen in the near future with the birth of Mary’s son, Jesus, the Son of the Most High, the “great joy for all people.”
It is kind of sprung on the shepherds, though, isn’t it?
No WONDER they were terrified.
The birth of the Messiah is announced. When did it happen, angels?
Today! and He is over THERE! And now we are going to light up the sky and sing like there is no tomorrow!
I wonder if the sheep even stuck around with all that going on.
And what was a shepherd, anyway? Certainly not anyone high up in society. I’ve heard of descriptions that call them “rag-tag and a bit grimy.”
Rag-tag and a bit grimy. Sounds a bit like my ever wandering soul sometimes.
And to this rag-tag and grimy crew the very chorus of heaven shows up and points them to the Savior of the world. “I bring you news that will cause great joy for all people.”
Not just the have-it-all-together crew.
The shepherds as well, who, just as the Wise Men did, followed a star to a manger and saw Jesus, the gift to us all.
It has been a while since I have posted, but that time has not been wasted. I’m in recovery, my friends. I’ve been led to a Christ-centered recovery group that takes on all manner of addictions and issues, those specifically shaped sins of ours that need the utter and complete mercy of God. My recovery is going well, with of course a few stumbles on the way. This recovery takes place amidst a growing family (the twins are due in a month!), a growing young boy, master classes in literary studies, and my own teaching responsibilities. And each week as I sit with my group of Christian brothers, either in sadness or joy, the reminder is given to me that I am His work, that I have a role in this great Story He is telling. I am learning to be myself, in Him. Massively challenging at times, and at others a simple warm embracing of realization. Like a shepherd, I am a bit rag-tag and grimy. But the good Lord send Him in the form of babe to change the world. And me. And you.
May God bless each and every one of you this Christmas, now and every day.