In that region there were shepherds….glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen…. Luke 2:8a, 20a. NRSV
In the entire pageantry of the Christmas story, the shepherds often fade into the background of the hay and the barn. We get caught up by the glory of the angels, the gifts of the wise men, the obedience of Mary, the shining star and even the music of the drummer boy. The shepherds are barefoot, don’t give any presents and are most likely pretty smelly.
Yet, in the book of Luke, the angels appear to these poor men and not only eradicate their fear but get them to take action. Even in Matthew’s gospel, the wise men not only visit Jesus long after his birthday but they slink away back to the east without reporting on what has happened. It is the shepherds who praise and rejoice. The shepherds don’t hold back, there are no secrets with them and they are not afraid to tell others about their experience.
Their experience of Christmas is so overwhelmingly powerful and life changing that they are moved to share.
God, we pray that this experience of Christmas will be so such a powerful life-changing event for us that we will have no choice but to share fearlessly what You have done in the world. Amen.
Copyright 2008 Amelia G. Sims