“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them”. Luke 2:8-20, ESV
I have always loved the shepherds’ part of the story of Jesus’ birth. So many things can be taken from their experience. Their experience embodied what Christ came to earth for.
The shepherds were the first to be told of the birth of Jesus. Angels from heaven came to announce His birth to them, specifically.
They recognized what they were being told and who had told it to them.
They were humble men about their own business and doing their job.
They had no expectations of grandeur.
They were lowly in society. People did not tend to take notice of who they were.
They spent their time out in the empty country away from others.
They knew what it took to care for what was entrusted into their care and protection. Nothing could keep them from making sure their flock was healthy and safe.
They were bold and fearless.
They represented what Christ came to earth to be.
They did not waste time after the announcement. They were immediately set into action.
When they saw with their eyes and confirmed what they had heard, they made it known to everyone. They did not keep the good news to themselves.
After they shared the good news, they returned. They didn’t forget about what they had seen and heard.
Their presence and actions made an impact of Mary.
They praised God for what happened. They knew the source of what they had experienced.
We can do well to take notes from then lives of the shepherds. In this season of remembrance and celebration, let us strive to become more like the humble shepherds in the field on that beautiful night 2,000 years ago.