by Darla Noble
There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock.
Shepherds were a lowly lot back in Jesus’ day. They weren’t considered to be at the top of the social ladder. They didn’t shave every morning and their clothes were dusty and worn. Their skin was leathered and weather-worn, and it’s safe to say they were somewhat lacking in social skills.
Yet in spite of everything, shepherds were indispensable. They tended, guarded, cared for, and managed sheep—one of the most vital commodities of the day. Sheep provided food, wool for clothing, blankets, and rugs, tallow for candles, lanolin for skin protection, and a few other things essential for daily living. Sheep were also the sacrifice most desired by God.
When you think about it, it makes perfect sense that God would choose shepherds to be the first to know that Jesus had been born. It was only fitting that the keepers of the lambs offered as a sacrifice for sins were the first to meet the Lamb of God that took away the sins of the world.
As you celebrate the Christmas season and enter a new year, I hope you will become more like the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks that night…humble, obedient, and blessed.
Pray: Father, thank you for sending us Your son. Make my life a living celebration of His birth during this Christmas season and every day. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.