As the evening skies darkened the shepherds would gather their sheep into the sheepfold, counting each one in the evening and then again in the morning as they returned to pasture. They slept near the flock to protect them from wild animals and thieves–always on watch.
These sheepherders were shunned by society–forbidden in the Temple courts or religious gatherings. Isolated to themselves because no one wanted to be around them–reeking of animal smells was just one of many reasons they were considered unworthy.
But God…God sent an angel to these shepherds to tell them the good news and how they could witness this miracle birth. And they obeyed. Imagine, the lowest of society was honored to hear of Jesus’ birth first, His first visitors. God reached down His hand and touched these shepherds’ hearts. Come, I have news for you. Your Savior is born. Come and see my Son.
Luke 2: 8-12, And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
Luke 2: 15-20, And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
These outcasts known as simple shepherds–their lives were changed forever that night. And that’s what happens when we meet Jesus. Our lives are changed for eternity.
Our nativity figures and Christmas programs always depicts three male shepherds. The Bible references them as “shepherds” or “the shepherds” (Luke 2:8,15,18).
And there’s this beautiful story in the Old Testament of Rachel, the keeper of her father’s sheep.
Genesis 29:6, And he said unto them, Is he well? And they said, He is well: and, behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep.
Genesis 29:9, And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep; for she kept them.
And what if one of those shepherds who visited the baby Jesus–what if one of them was a woman? What if one of the shepherds was a shepherdess? What if she was sent especially to help Mary after the birth of Jesus, if only for a few moments of time.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19)
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. (John 21:25)
How to be a gift this Christmas
Read our Bibles. Share a Bible with someone in need
Go through old family photos and make an album for a loved one
Ask a teacher how you can help in the classroom–Does a child have a need, do they need a gift for a loved one, do they need a friend?
All scriptures referenced are from the KJV Bible