Luke 2:8 “In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night.”
Shepherds sit in a field quietly watching the flocks of sheep, keeping them safe from harm. The stars overhead would have been magnificent in such dark skies. Did they notice a different star gleaming a little more brightly than the others? If they did I am sure it would have been dismissed or just enjoyed a little more. The nights would have been pretty quiet most of the time. Maybe they would hear the bleat of a sheep or the scuffle of a nearby animal but not much more than that. This quiet night was about to be rocked. An angel, shining in the glory of God came and announced the birth of the Messiah! He tells them where to find this sweet babe and then a “multitude of the heavenly hosts” join him in singing praises. I know when I sit in darkness any light can seem pretty bright. I cannot imagine how bright the glory of God shines but I bet the shepherds had to shield their eyes for a moment. After the angels visit the shepherds leave their flocks of sheep to go see the Lamb. As they gazed upon that tiny newborn did any of them imagine the life he would lead? As we gaze in, do our hearts remember the sacrifice this babe, this little lamb, is making on our behalf?
When I celebrate your birth I don’t like to think about your death at the same time but I often do. Those events are so tied together in the gift you brought to us. You came for us. You lived here for us and you died for us. Speak to our hearts today so we step ever closer to giving back to you. I want my songs of praise to tell others about you so they can find you and join in the songs of praise with me. Amen.