Christmas and the Shepherds

This morning we are going to talk some about the shepherds. We are reading somewhat between the lines, but it appears that they were people who were in touch with God.

The life of a shepherd does look attractive at times. There is a lot that we don’t know about these “faithful few” who surround the Christmas story. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to realize that they must have had a relationship with God before He put them in as a part of the Christmas story.

Luke 2

Mary pondered all of these things in her heart. We aren’t sure what all that means or what exactly that looked like, but it seems like she may have realized that something big was happening, and that she was a part of it.

The shepherds were going about their responsibilities. They were in the fields at night doing the thing that they did for a living. God uses us right where we are, right in the things we are responsible for.

1 Samuel – David was a young man. God was looking for someone to replace Saul as king. David was out taking care of the sheep when Samuel came to Jesse’s house to find the next king.

Moses found himself out in the desert. He was taking care of his sheep, doing nothing glamorous. God comes to him and gives him a a huge responsibility.

Gideon was threshing wheat when God came to him and tasked him with saving Israel from the Midianites.

Peter and Andrew. James and John. All of these were being faithful in the things that they were doing when Jesus came and called them to follow him.

Exodus 2:16 – are shepherds always men? There are at least 8 female shepherds in scripture… there is a decent chance that some of these shepherds were women.

Often when we are out at night and its dark… we look up. It is difficult to comprehend the vastness and complexity of space. It is good for us to be out at night from time to time, looking up to the skies and thinking.

The shepherds were men of action. They took action based on what they were told by the angels.

What about the sheep? Sheep are generally easy to spook… we don’t really know what happened with the sheep here. The shepherds minds seemed to be on other things.

It is probably safe to assume that the shepherds weren’t normally comfortable with going to find a newly born baby. A lot of times we tend to be really cautious. The shepherds could have thought like this… its night… its a new baby… we’ll be going into town on Friday anyway… However it doesn’t appear that that is how they approached the decision to go find Jesus. Instead they decided, “lets go!”

Some times common sense can get in the way of prompt action when God speaks to us. Not that we should make rash decisions. But we do need to be willing to move when God speaks.

  1. Are we being faithful in the present responsibilities that God has given us?
  2. Are we ready and willing to believe the unbelievable?
  3. Are we willing to act when God asks us to move?