Today’s post is by an author (Randy Kilgore) that has made a tremendous impression on me. May it bless you today.
So (the shepherds) hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. (—)The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:16-18; 20
Who were you before the manger? How did it change you?
When the angels interrupted the quiet of the night long ago to tell a group of shepherds that Jesus was born, even the angels must have wondered why God picked them to be told. Certainly that must have crossed the shepherds’ minds as well. Why us?
Why? Because a shepherd living off the land is as precious to God as a king.
Nothing’s changed; the lowliest worker in the newest job is as important to God as the newest leader of the free world. And isn’t it just like God, in a world turned upside down by financial upheaval, to make it possible for today’s shepherds to change the world again.
Shepherds, we need you now!
We’re not talking, right now, about the clergy, though their role as shepherds of God’s flock brings us hope, too.
No, today, it’s the world-weary, street-savvy, been-there-done-that hard-times Christian whom God picked to star as shepherds in this year’s Christmas story. You have news and experience people of privilege often lack, and suddenly they need you more than they know.
Because you’ve lived through life’s storms and come out the other side. Living paycheck to paycheck, you’ve been in the storm so many middle class and upper middle class co-workers now face, and you know there’s life after the storm. The wisest of you even know there’s life in the storm.
You’ve heard and seen the worst, and have learned to live life in the face of uncertainty. For so many people this Christmas, their worst nightmares have leapt from their imagination to reality, and they need the comfort of your company and the benefit of your experience. But more than that, they need you to point them to the hope that kept you going even in your darkest days; the hope that keeps you going even today.
They need to know you’ve heard the angels and seen the Baby.
This isn’t some poetic plea aimed at stirring you to think, it’s an earnest call to act. God grows impatient with the all-talk, no-action Christian who talks a game they never live out. Thousands and thousands of people who never dreamed they’d be in need are now, some for the first time ever, truly in need. While you’ve already learned there’s no such thing as complete security; many of them are only learning it now the hard way. It’s their first time in the darkness.
They need you to show them how to move around in that darkness; and how to find joy in the smallest moments during those dark days; because it will link them to the day when there will be no more sorrow and no more pain; that wonderful day when Jesus stands up to end for all time the sin that racks this world God never intended to suffer.
But until He does; until the Savior stands a second time to bring us that day of eternal joy; it’s up to us, the ones whom the angels have sung to, the ones who have learned that this life is but a foretaste of that greater one; it’s up to us to tell the world we’ve seen the Baby.
Who were you before the manger? How did it change you? If you don’t have a story to tell of the hope the birth of Christ brings you, then it may well be that you’ve never really met Jesus.
The ones who’ve seen the darkest nights know best just how much even the tiniest flicker of hope can light that night. This Christmas, let the shepherds be the wise ones as we point our friends, neighbors and coworkers to the Light that never goes out.
May this Christmas season find us waiting on others as we wait on Jesus.
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