Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Worried Shepherds

"In the same region there were some shepherds ... an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them ... When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, 'Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.'" Luke 2:8-15 NASB

Who were these men to whom the angels announced the birth of Jesus? Not powerful politicians or religious scholars but simple shepherds. Real men living real lives. Men with a range of personalities. Some strong and confident.

Others timid.

At the moment they encountered the angels, we can imagine how some might have been filled with worry. After all, their world was an unstable place. Roman soldiers were everywhere, and in many ways these were oppressed people.

How dark the night could have seemed. How easily they could have felt discouraged and hopeless. They had every reason to doubt. Even the faith inherited from their fathers might have failed them.

They might have felt that God had forgotten them.

Then, suddenly, the angel appeared out of the night. In that moment, they experienced a jolt of resolve and were determined to believe the message and seek the child. But the message might have seemed too good to be true. They may have paused to consider who would believe their story.

Leaving their duty keeping flocks to see a baby? What would others say? Would they say if they stumbled into soldiers, or could not find the baby? What would happen if any sheep were lost? If they could not find the baby?

We can see how some might have wanted to stay behind. But only in going did their lives change. Today, how will you respond to the message of the angels? The call of God? Stay behind? Give in to skepticism and doubt? Or risk everything to follow God? To worship and serve the King?

Today's Inspiring Prayer

Father, I commit these issues to You: ___________. I cast my cares on You. Thank You for loving me. I trust in You. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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