8 In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: 11 Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:
14 Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors!
One morning outside of Bethlehem, a group of shepherds woke up to what they thought would be an ordinary day of sheep herding. They would feed their flock, lead them to water, and inspect them for any injury or distress. They would watch over them with great care.
But this day would not be like any other day of their lives. Someday, as old men, they would share the story of this day with friends and family with the same enthusiasm and wonder.
When the evening shift of their day had come, the night sky lit up with the Glory of Lord and a messenger from Heaven. They were shaken to their core at such a sight. After being calmed by the messenger, they were told news they had longed to hear: Today the Messiah has been born. Never in their wildest dreams would they have imagined themselves as the recipients of such divine news.
Now, with the divine message, came a divine mission implied by the angel’s declaration that they “will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12) The shepherds have received this message so that they might go to see the Christ child for themselves.
What the shepherds did next is a lesson to all of us who seek to follow Jesus.
15 When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the manger. (Luke 2:15-16)
They obeyed immediately and they obeyed together. There were plenty of reasons they could have delayed or excused themselves for such a mission. The unusual nature of an angelic choir could have given them pause. “Did that really happen?” Their duty to watch over a flock of sheep could have given them pause. “We have a job to do…we can’t go off looking for a baby!”
But none of those excuses got in their way. Immediately and with a great sense of urgency, they pursued the mission God had given to them: Going to Jesus.
What has God called you to do? Are you with immediacy and urgency obeying His call? Be like the Shepherds. Go straight to that which the Lord has made known unto you!
Reflection: “It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.” – Mark TwainGod’s will for our lives isn’t as complicated as we sometimes make it. What God has written for us to do, let us do it immediately and urgently. As a matter of fact, what can you do right now?