Michelle Bauer ~ Leaving their Sheep to Find Jesus: When Shepherds and Angels Meet
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
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.”
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, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. – Luke 2:8-20
In order for shepherds to do their jobs well, they had to live in the fields and stay up all night watching their flocks in order to keep the sheep safe from predators; shepherds leaving their sheep would mean leaving them vulnerable. What do you think their lives were like? Would we consider this a “good job” today?
If the weather allows, sit outside for a few moments tonight, look at the sky, and imagine what it would have been like to see the sky suddenly filled with light and angels. What did the shepherds see that night? What did they hear?
The angels told the shepherds, “a Savior has been born to you…” Put yourself in the shepherd’s shoes and hear that angelic message for yourself. Christ the Lord has come to save you. What do you need to be rescued from?
The angels filled the sky saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men.” How does “Emmanuel,” God with us, bring peace into our lives? In what area of your life would you like for God’s peace to come?
For shepherds leaving their sheep, what do you think could make them willing to hurry away from their flocks and head into town to witness these events? In what ways did Jesus’ birth interrupt their lives?
The Shepherds couldn’t keep this amazing experience to themselves. It sounds like they told everyone they met! Is God doing something in your life that you would like to share with someone today? Do you know someone who needs to hear about God’s peace?
Eventually, the shepherds returned to the fields and their work, supervising livestock. We can only imagine that their lives have been dramatically changed. How has your life been changed by God’s presence? Take a moment now to glorify and praise God for those things.