Let me see if I can relate my experience as a humble shepherd to you.
I’m a shepherd by trade. I know it doesn’t seem like much but I consider myself in great company. After all, Moses and David were shepherds for a time and they were great men of God. The deep blue vault above me at the midnight hour and the stillness keep me focused on what’s most important. In the quiet I speak with God and He rewards me with beautiful moonlight and magnificent stars that show His greatness and His power.
That night it was the time of my watch and I was making my way around the far side of the sleeping masses. All was still and quiet when suddenly a brilliant light broke into the night. I struggled to shield my eyes. My limbs were seized with fear and I couldn’t move.
Then I heard, “Fear not.” It was a messenger from God. An angel was speaking to us. So magnificent, so splendid, yet so terrifying. The angel proclaimed to us the good news. A Savior is born. Today. In Bethlehem not far from our resting place. If we traveled there we would find Him in a manger, wrapped in strips of cloth.
I remember thinking, “A Savior, in a manger. What an amazing contrast to what we were expecting.” Then I caught another phrase the angel had spoken. “To you.” God had sent this babe in a manger to me and for me as my Savior.
No sooner had the thought crossed my mind than the heavens were peeled back. The invisible world was laid open to our eyes. An army of angels spontaneously erupted in celebration of the peace that God had brought to man that day through Jesus Christ.
When once again our world was calm and dark, we gathered together and decided to go to Bethlehem immediately to see the Savior that the angel had announced to us.
So we hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in a manger. Amazing. My Savior in a manger.
On our way back to our flocks we spread the good news to everyone who would listen. We offered up praise to God for all that we had seen and heard. Still, I can’t help but feel unworthy. I’m just a simple shepherd. Even so God drew me to seek Jesus in the manger on that very first night.