“And there were in the same country
shepherds abiding in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night.”
(Luke 2:8, KJV)
It happened on an ordinary night, in an ordinary place.
The sheep were settled down for the evening, and the shepherds were doing what they had done hundreds of times before… keeping watch. It was part of their routine. This was their job, and the sheep were their responsibility.
The shepherds had no reason to believe this night would be any different from the dozens of other nights spent out in the fields.
But God often interrupts the ordinary to do something extraordinary.
The shepherds heard the angel choir, they followed the star, and they saw the Christ child wrapped tight in a blanket while a young teenage mother sat close by wondering what it all meant.
In the midst of the mundane, God had penetrated time and space to give us His greatest gift.
And the shepherds didn’t miss it! The Bible says “They came with haste.” (Luke 2:16)
They left the sheep, and they found a Savior.
But they didn’t have to go. After all, they had things to do. They were in the middle of taking care of their daily work and duties. It was evening, when their sheep were settled down for the night… when they needed protection from wild animals. The shepherd’s job was to guard.
There were many reasons not to go and seek Jesus.
But when the Divine interrupts the ordinary,
seeking Him is all that matters.
So the shepherds’ Christmas story was written. On that hallowed night, when angels sang and the star shown bright, they followed their heart. They paused in the moment and soaked in the holiness of a God bent near.
And we have the same opportunity.
Thousands of years have passed since the Christ child lay in a Bethlehem stable, but the holiness still remains.
We have a choice. We can get caught up in the busy preparations and the frantic pace of the holiday, or we can pause in the sacred and notice the holy.
I know what you’re thinking . . . The shopping has to be done. The menu has to be planned, and the family gatherings have to be held. And there’s decorating and other preparations.
I get that. I have the same list of things to do.
But here’s the most important question to consider – –
What Christmas story will you tell this year?
What will your actions and priorities say about the God who came to earth? Will you allow Him to interrupt the ordinary to shine a light of transformation? Will you leave behind the mundane to experience the sacred?
Re-writing Our Story
Can you imagine the story those shepherds told? For generations to come, I’m sure their families shared the account of that night over and over again.
It wasn’t about leaving the sheep.
It was about experiencing the miracle.
It wasn’t about them traveling the distance from the fields into the city.
It was about a God who traveled the distance from heaven to earth.
The shepherds allowed Jesus to re-write their story simply by stepping away from the ordinary in pursuit of the extraordinary.
How can we do the same?
How can we pause and soak in the amazing love of a God who came to draw us near?
The shepherds dropped everything they were doing. They went with haste. No holding back and no second thoughts.
Let us follow their example.
In the middle of the planning and the celebrating, may we pause to listen to Him speak. May we soak in the miracle and allow the Holy to interrupt the ordinary. And may we tell our Christmas story with wonder and grace.
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
In His Grace,
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