Today’s Reading: Luke 2:8-20
You are a Shepherd. Tending sheep is the job that you do. It’s a decent job, but not particularly respected. Sheep aren’t the smartest animals in the world, but you love your sheep, and you go out of your way to care for them. It’s a pretty simple, almost boring life really…until last night…
Last night the most amazing thing that you have ever witnessed took place, and you would keep it to yourself (because people will likely think you’re insane, and that you’ve been working in the pasture for too long), but the news is too wonderful to keep to yourself…
An angel! A real live angel appeared to you and your fellow shepherds last night and this is exactly what the angel said – it was too wonderful to forget!
“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
Just then the sky brightened even more! More angels, many, many more angels filled the sky and they were praising God saying
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Peace? Goodwill? Here? You couldn’t believe it, but it had just happened. You don’t think angels are in the habit of telling lies, but how could this be true? You knew that you could put this information to the test right now. Was there really a baby in a manger in Bethlehem? Had God really chosen you to reveal this wonderful news to? So you and your co-workers leave right away headed to Bethlehem. and you find them, this special family with a baby lying in a manger- just as the angel said! You tumble over each other telling the parents what the angel had said and because this part was true, you knew the whole message was true! This child was the savior! You and the other shepherds make such an excited ruckus that a crowd gathers and marvels right along with you, but you notice that the mother didn’t say much, you think she already knew!
As you all leave the savior in the stable, you can’t help but be elated – God spoke to you – a lowly shepherd. God gave you the good news – the world was saved, the savior was born! How ever could you keep such wonderful news to yourself? Your life is changed – forever.
This is how I imagine one of the shepherds who witnessed the the glory of the angels and the beauty of the babe in the manger might have felt. Today, we could have listened to Hark! The herald angels sing! Or While Shepherds watched their flocks by night but, I’ll go with It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, because it reminds me so much of the Christmas programs I used to be a part of as a child. It was so long ago and our world right now seems anything but peaceful – yet this is a promise God gave to us. It’s a promise we should believe in -perhaps we are called to provide those we come in contact with a slice of peace for the day…Perhaps.
a little whimsical
and a little more traditional