Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Saturday, December 14, 2013

While The Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

The first people to arrive were the shepherds.  Knowing that Jesus is our Shepherd I think it is perfect that they came first.  The King was born in a lowly manger....and visited by men most people did not like to be around.  So, what did the shepherds think on that night?  How did they feel about being part of this great Story?  I think their story must have gone something like this...

It was a cold night. The coldest night of the year, they said. They were right. It was the kind of night where you feel the chill deep down in your bones, and you couldn’t stop shivering even if you wanted to. On nights like these, I hate being a shepherd. I mean, it’s bad enough that they pay us next to nothing and the owners treat us like dirt. It’s bad enough that we have to stay up all night fighting off wolves and other creatures, even the occasional
human thief. Hell, it’s bad enough that these sheep are so dumb they’ll walk straight into a hole that a blind guy could see, and I have to fish ‘em out. But the part that really gets me is how people look down on us. I mean, I know we smell bad since we hang out with sheep all the time, but that’s not the reason. When we’re in town people avoid us because they think we’re scum. Men pull their daughters a little closer when we’re around because they’re
afraid we’ll try to rape them. Other people put their hands on their money bag when they see us because they’re afraid we’ll rob them. I’ve never hurt anybody in my life! I’m just trying to survive like anyone else. It’s not like my life’s goal was to be a shepherd. I just couldn’t get any other job, and it’s better than nothing. Like I said, it was the coldest night of the year. We were sitting around the fire trying to keep warm, but it wasn’t working. Someone starting passing around a flagon of wine they had swiped from an owner. I took a few big
swigs because it helped me feel warm. I thought I might be able to get some sleep, so I started to doze off. That’s when it happened. This bright light came from out of nowhere, and I heard someone shouting something. I figured someone was using some kind of trick to be able to steal our sheep. I squinted and saw the figure of a man saying, “Don’t be afraid. I have good news.” He tells us that in town the new king has been born and that we should go see him. He said that a star would show us the way.

All of a sudden the light disappeared. I thought maybe the wine had some funny stuff in it and I was seeing things, but everyone else saw it too. And after the spots went away from our eyes, there it was! A star that I had never seen in the sky before, shining as bright as the moon! We headed off, not knowing why. It didn’t make any sense. After all, why would a bunch of dirty shepherds be allowed to see a king? Even regular people didn’t want to
be around us. Why should a new king be any different?

When we got into town, the star didn’t show us the way to a palace or a fancy house like we thought. We figured a king would be born in a real nice place. I saw King Herod’s house once and it was the biggest thing I’d ever seen. Instead, the star led us to a cave filled with animals. In there was this real young girl and a guy who turned out to be her husband, with a newborn baby wrapped in rags. Now I knew we were crazy.
One of my friends told them why we were here, and the guy looked surprised. “The angel told you too, huh?” he said. An angel? That’s what that thing was? He said that angels had told him and his wife that this baby was the Messiah that God had promised to Israel. They weren’t sure what it meant either. They just somehow knew it was true.
I walked over to take a look at this kid. He was asleep, so I was real quiet because I didn’t want to wake him up. Suddenly he opened his eyes and looked up at me and smiled. It wasn’t one of those normal baby smiles. It was more like how my mom used to look at me when I was little. It was the kind of smile that said “I love you.” I still have no idea what all this King and messiah stuff is about. What I do know is that there’s something real special about this baby boy. I don’t know what God has in mind for him and his parents, but I know that somehow God will make it all work out.....and He did.  It worked out just like He had planned.

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