“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.” (Luke 2:8)
I often wonder what happened to those shepherds. How do you go back to tending sheep after you seeing an angel army? After seeing a baby in a manger, did they check in periodically to see how he was doing? When news spread of a Nazarene who was performing miracles, did they tell their friends “I knew him when he was just a baby?” Were they at the foot of the cross, wondering how the baby they once adored could now be the victim of Roman justice? Did they understand his death was necessary for our (eternal) life?
Scripture does not offer any answers to my questions. Nevertheless, we can learn so much from what the shepherds did when first encountering Jesus: “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…” (Luke 2:17-18a)
For so many, this is the season of Santa, George Bailey, the Grinch and Frosty the Snowman. All wonderful stories, with messages from the cute to the profound. Yet only the story in which the shepherds played a part can be life-changing, both in this world and the next.
I read once that an effective way to begin witnessing to others is to ask the question “What do you think about Jesus?” There is no better season to reflect on our own answer to that question. I pray the answer leaves you just as it did the shepherds: driven to tell others, driven to glorify God. If not, I invite you to revisit the story in Luke 2.
On behalf of the faculty and staff at Bellevue Christian School, I pray this Christmas season is filled with love, joy and wonder as we celebrate with family, friends, and all of Christendom the birth of our Lord and Savior.