While Shepherds Watch

19 Dec

“If you want to give a message to the world, let it be simple, as simple as the life of a shepherd!” ~ Mehmet Murat ildan

When I was quite young, thinking about the birth of Jesus often entailed a long reflection about the shepherds. I would think about them gathering the flock together for the night and establishing sentinels to watch the flock as well as to watch for anything that could harm the flock such as wolves or thieves.

I would think about them gathering around a fire telling stories and tending to cuts, scrapes, and bruises that they got from watching the flock that day. Then, I would think about their shock when the skies lit up and angels from above sang God’s glory. It would always be at that point of my reflection that I would tell myself that I probably would’ve passed out from fright.

The shepherds had a difficult job. They had a dirty job. But, in the end, they also had a predictable job and one that was relatively simple. Take the sheep out, bring the sheep in. Feed the sheep, water the sheep, guard the sheep, and repeat again and again and again.

When we get involved in repetition, there is little that can surprise us. We’ve seen it all because we’ve experienced it all. Or so we think. Imagine a shepherd whose simple, repetitious life is blown open by a host of angels and a night that became as bright as day.

I often wonder what happened to those shepherds. How many of them told the story to as many people as would listen? Or, how many tried to go back to their old, comfortable, predictable way of life? God has a way of turning our simple lives around. He shows His love for us in wonderful and majestic ways. It is up to us to become changed people and adopt a new way of life.

FAITH ACTION:  Ask God how He is asking you to change. Ask, as well, for the grace to do so.