Keeping Watch

23 Dec

“Shepherds lift their heads, not to gaze at a new light but to hear angels.”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich

The symbol for the Jesse Tree today is a fluffy sheep. That’s right. A nice fluffy sheep, just like the ones the shepherds in Bethlehem watched over at night. You know, watching sheep is hard work. While they generally stay together as a flock, there is always that one sheep who has a mind of its own and wanders astray. When that happens, its life is at risk.

Sheep have very poor eyesight so they cannot see the flock when they get too far away. They also cannot see hazards in front of them, whether that means crevices in the hills or wolves. Anything can happen to a sheep that gets separated from the flock. They demand the shepherd’s full time gaze.

If one shepherd would have gone to another shepherd and said, “You know, in a couple days’ time, this valley is going to be filled with light and with singing angels,” that shepherd would have been told to get back to watching the sheep and to quit daydreaming. It would take a miracle to have the shepherds take their eyes off of their flocks and look heavenward.

A miracle would soon come their way. Their lives would be incredibly different. They would be the first to whom the announcement was made about the birth of a Savior. It would be up to them to spread the news or keep it to themselves.

I imagine some of them would have kept it to themselves, thinking that others would consider them crazy if they mentioned what they saw. Others may have told what they had seen in such a way as to do nothing more than babble. A few may have been good, competent witnesses.

God has filled our hearts with joy. Do we proclaim the Good News or do we keep it to ourselves lest we be considered crazy?

FAITH ACTION: Try to determine how you can better proclaim the Good News to those you see on a regular basis.