By Patrick Hawthorne
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 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, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:8-14 NKJV)
Why the shepherds, Lord? What was it about them that would lead You to entrust such a heavenly message? Were they not simple men, simple shepherds tending their flock? Why not a more scholarly group, the more learned? What was it Lord?
What were the shepherds doing, Lord, that you would forever alter the framework of their world? Were they assembled around a camp fire on a night so crisp and clear, discussing Godly things? Or, were they standing silently, weary from hard day’s work of tending the flock? What was it Lord?
When suddenly the angel of the Lord stood before them and the excellence of Your glory flashed before them, did fear paralyze the shepherds so that they could not move? Or, did they fall upon their knees, overcome by Your presence? Did they cry out in fear, or were their tongues frozen so that they could not speak? What was it Lord?
When the angel of the Lord proclaimed the birth of Christ Jesus to the shepherds, how did they react, Lord? Did they, of one accord, raise their hands to heaven in worship? Or, did they weep silently as a joy unspeakable washed over them? What was it Lord?
When the clouds rolled back and the glory of heaven shown all about the shepherds, what were their expressions, Lord? Did they join in worship as millions upon millions of angels cried out in one accord, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is well-pleased?” Or, did they close their eyes and breathe in the tangibleness of Your presence? What was it Lord?
What about me, Lord? Would you be willing to show me, a simple man, your glory? Yes Lord, I know You would; I know You have.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)