When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us. “ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the child lying in the manger. Luke 2:15-16 NRSV
The shepherds, keepers, guardians and dependents of the flock do the craziest thing here in the midst of the Christmas story. They leave the sheep to go and see what the angels have told them. To a rational person, this would make the shepherds into fools. The sheep are how they live and the sheep are all they have. The sheep are vitally important: right? Or maybe not. What happened to them was so life-changing that the shepherds are able to leave behind what seems important to go and see what God has revealed to them.
How many of us would be able to leave our jobs, or more importantly our job security, in order to confirm God’s revelation to us? Certainly many ministers such as myself began by following God’s call and leaving what seemed secure behind. But how many of us pastors today are truly following God’s call or are we just content following the ministerial career ladder? If God revealed something to us, could we leave the relative security of our guaranteed appointments and pension plans to follow God’s revelation? But we aren’t the only ones with seemingly important careers, familial responsibilities and 401Ks. Would you be able to leave the sheep and go to see what the angels reported? Would you be able to follow God no matter what?
God, sometimes you ask us to leave what we consider to be safe and comfortable and important. Give us the courage to follow. Amen.
Copyright 2008 Amelia G. Sims