“After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. “
Luke 2:17, NIV
It was only one line, but I executed it well.
Standing as tall as a preschooler could stand, I looked across the crowd of adoring parents packed into the small chapel. It was my moment—my opportunity to shine—to proclaim the birth of the baby Jesus.
“While shepherds washed their sheets by night….”
Oops! Not exactly the message I was expected to convey, but one I spoke with delight and with words that certainly brought joy to the faces of everyone who heard them.
The Christmas story reminds me that God first entrusted the news of his Son’s birth to men on the lowest rung of society—outcasts, who slept on the ground and smelled like sheep. Shepherds considered so untrustworthy their testimony wasn’t allowed in court. If I’d written the script, I’m sure I would’ve chosen a much more flamboyant conclave of men to be the first evangelists.
But God got it right. And so did the shepherds. Over two-thousand years later, we’re still talking about the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Though we can only speculate as to why God chose the shepherds, we can learn from the things this band of unschooled men got right. Take a moment to read the Christmas story in Luke 2, and let’s make the shepherd’s response our own this Christmas season.
The NIV translation relays that the shepherds were nearby (v.8). They were positioned to hear a revelation that would awaken a nation. May we position ourselves to hear the words of our Heavenly Father—words that will awaken our hearts and impact the lives of others.
They kept watch (v.8). The shepherds were alert and prepared to care for the sheep and handle whatever took place on their watch. May we live in expectation as we prepare for and carry out the tasks that God has assigned us.
They hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby (v.16). The shepherds sought to confirm the angel’s message for themselves. May we not settle for second-hand information but move without hesitation to confirm the things we read and hear.
They spread the word (v.17). The shepherds boldly proclaimed Christ’s birth and all who heard their words were amazed. May we understand that we’re all valuable to God and have a story to tell. It’s our responsibility to share the Gospel; God is responsible for the response.
They returned glorifying and praising God (v.20). Elated, the shepherds returned to the fields with a new sense of purpose and worth, knowing that God was who he said he was. May we realize that it’s not our position in life, but the position of our hearts before God that will make a lasting impact in a world that needs a Savior.
This is your moment—your opportunity to shine. Go and tell!