“In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’
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. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.”
In the Gospel of Luke, the first peoples to journey to meet the Emmanuel, are Shepherds, men in fields with their sheep who journey by foot, following a star…wait, there is no star in this scripture. The Shepherds make haste by foot, and taking the sheep with them? Because angels appeared and announced a Savior had been born. They would know this Messiah because of how he’s presented and where they would find them. Wrapped in scrapes of material and sleeping in something animals were fed from; both unexpected for a king. Yet they journeyed from the wilderness, the best place to keep sheep fed, to town. And their lives were changed forever. Who knew that one night wandering with sheep would lead to a wonderous night?
Light-bearing and life-changing Lord, we are astonished with the shepherds at the announcement of your birth. To have chosen lowly shepherds to bear your message was something unexpected and so we are humbled that you’ve chosen us as well. May we share the good news with all we encounter in our daily journeys as a message that can’t wait. Amen.