Christmas2020

Learning from the shepherds: watch, listen, act!

It’s Christmas week, and one of my favorite accounts in the Bible is when the angel of the Lord appears to the shepherds announcing the birth of Jesus. What can you learn from the shepherds? Let’s find out in today’s Points to Ponder.

Reading Luke 2 in the Bible is a wonderous moment for me each Christmas season. This account is filled with good news of great joy available for those of us who are watching and waiting for the Lord. Let’s zoom in our focus today on Luke 2 versus 8 through 20, which tells of shepherds in a field. I imagine how I would have felt standing in that field when suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared.

Why don’t you pull up the text today as we go through it together?

No. 1: The shepherds were awake and watching

Have you ever taken children to a public park? If you’re like me, you keep an eye on them every second! Well, here, the shepherds in the field were keeping watch over their flock by night. They weren’t laying around not paying attention. They were wide awake and keeping an eye on their sheep. If I apply this nugget to today, I wonder: What are you watching for? What could be distracting you from seeing how God is showing up in your life?

No 2: The shepherds were listening

The shepherds were awe inspired at the appearance of the angel of the Lord announcing the birth of a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and they were very afraid. But they didn’t run away … they listened to what the angel said.

Is there something the Lord is calling you to do, but you feel afraid of it? What might happen if you focused on what the angel said next: “Fear not …” Take a moment to notice your fear. Imagine yourself shifting from being overcome by fear to being an observer of that emotion. How might that open up possibilities for you?

No 3: The shepherds sprang into action

After hearing the announcement from the angel, along with a multitude of heavenly hosts praising God, the shepherds didn’t wait around in the field. They said let’s go to Bethlehem and see this Savior born as a baby. And the Bible says they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the Babe lying in a manager, just as the angel had said. They told everyone what they had heard concerning the Child. Then, they returned to their field, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen.

What is the Lord calling you to do? How can you respond to that calling? What’s one action you can take right away?

What about you?

Are you picturing yourself as one of those shepherds? If you’re curious about what it would be like to hear the Lord speak into your life, open up a Bible app on your phone and read Luke 2. Then, start a conversation with the God of the universe. You don’t need any fancy words; He loves you. He just wants to hear from you. It doesn’t matter what you say. You could start like this: “Dear God, I don’t know you, but I want to. Lead me in getting to know you through your Word.”