Live Like A Shepherd - Encouragement Café - December 14, 2017

Live Like A Shepherd

by Beth Mabe Gianopulos

Thursday, December 14, 2017

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” .... When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”  - Luke 2:8-15 (NIV)

This Christmas, I want to live like a shepherd. 

Because sheep are followers, they need a shepherd to lead them.  The shepherd must ensure that the sheep do not wander off and harm themselves, and they must protect the sheep from predators. When the angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds to announce Christ’s birth, the shepherds were on night watch carefully guarding the sheep. 

This was a demanding job - the shepherds needed to remain focused and watchful over every sheep in the flock.  If a shepherd became distracted, a sheep could easily be lost.

As Christmas approaches, the demands on me become more and more intense.  Like the shepherds, I feel like I never have a free minute.  I must have laser focus as I try to do everything that must be done to prepare for Christmas. 

I have to purchase gifts for the family, pick a tree, decorate our tree, prepare snacks for parties, and attend Christmas celebrations.  I have to do all of this while still balancing the responsibilities of being an attorney, wife, and mother.  Sometimes the pressure is overwhelming. 

If I am not careful, the busyness of Christmas will cause me to be so intent on preparing for the celebration that I miss the miracle of Christ's birth.

The shepherds could have easily missed the miracle of the birth of Jesus.  They could have been so consumed with the nightly responsibilities of guarding the sheep that they missed the miracle that appeared before them. 

However, "when the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’ ”  Luke 2:15 (NIV).

The shepherds immediately left behind their busyness and hurried off to find Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus.  Because the shepherds chased a miracle, they were some of the first people to spread the word concerning the birth of our Savior. 

Then they glorified and praised God for the miracle they had witnessed. 

As Christmas approaches, it is easy to become consumed by the tedious, never-ending to do list that stretches before you.  But if we remember to be like the shepherds – open to seeing and chasing miracles, we too can spend Christmas “glorifying and praising God for all the things” we hear and see.  Luke 2:20 (NIV).  

As Christmas approaches, do not be so intent on preparing for the celebration that you miss the miracle of Christ's birth.  Remember to be like the shepherds and chase the miracle. 

If we look for the miracle of Christmas, we can enthusiastically glorify and praise God for the things he has shown us. 

Jesus, help us chase the miracle of Your birth, life, death, and resurrection.  Help us put aside the busyness and chase the miracle of Christmas.  Give us boldness as we enthusiastically proclaim the miracle of Your birth just as the shepherds did.   In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

© 2017 by Beth Mabe Gianopulos.  All rights reserved.

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