“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11 (KJV)
When the teachers were selecting children for the speaking parts in the Christmas program at St. John’s Lutheran school in Seward, NE there were many 12 year old boys like me who just wanted to be one of the shepherds; no lines to memorize, no songs to sing…just stand there by a cardboard sheep, wear a hooded bathrobe and cotton beard and hold a staff. We just begged to be a shepherd, stand in the background and be oblivious to most all of those in attendance, except our parents. Why do you suppose the Angel appeared to the shepherds while they were just minding their own business watching their sheep and goats on just another quiet evening outside Bethlehem? It seems like it would have been better for the Angel to announce the news to a larger group of prominent people in Bethlehem who might have spread the news of this awesome event throughout the region. Our Heavenly Father chose the shepherds, perhaps because the babe born in Bethlehem would grow up and become our ‘Good Shepherd’ and one day give His life for us on the cross of Calvary. God’s plans are always perfect; even though this world does not always think that is the case and for that we can rejoice. By the way, I never did get to be a shepherd; probably because I needed glasses to see where I was going and there were no shepherds wearing glasses in the account in Luke; God had a plan. I close with the words to the hymn ‘While Shepherds watched their flocks by night’ which was written by Nahum Tate in 1700.
“While shepherds watched their flocks by night, all seated on the ground, the angel of the Lord came down, and glory shone around. "Fear not," said he, for mighty dread had seized their troubled minds; "Glad tidings of great joy I bring to you and all mankind. To you, in David's town, this day, is born of David's line a Savior, who is Christ the Lord; and this shall be the sign: the heavenly Babe you there shall find to human view displayed, all meanly wrapped in swaddling clothes and in a manger laid." Thus spake the seraph; and forthwith appeared a shining throng of angels, praising God, and thus addressed their joyful song: “All glory be to God on high, and to the earth be peace; good will henceforth from Heaven to men begin and never cease."
Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
May God be with you…Jay