The shepherds were a rough bunch of men guarding their flocks of sheep.
Most of the time they were not noticed or even liked by those around them.
Every night they were out in the dark and every night the routine would be the same for them as they watched for wild animals or other things that could bring harm to the herds.
Just as God used Mary, Joseph and Elizabeth to fulfill the story of Jesus and his birth.
I found it interesting that God would use this rough and worn group of men.
That particular night they were looking up at the sky
and noticing how bright it was
how amazing it looked
how peaceful and
yet so different than any night they had ever experienced.
They knew what the skies looked like
one would imagine they had the stars memorized.
This night was very different for them.
For some reason God chose them to be a part of the story.
Perhaps it was because they were so normal and so ordinary
not too different than a young pheasant girl and a young carpenter.
Ordinary simple people.
Called out to tell the Christmas story for every one to hear.
The angel appeared to them and said, “fear not” as the dark night lit up radiantly.
A holy fear gripped them. How could one not fear?
These men who fought wild animals and feared nothing
shook to their knees as they listened to the voice of an angel
telling them, “A baby is to be born.”
The silence of the night was rattled by angels singing.
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.
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
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.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.