"But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord'" Luke 2:16-17,
"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."
"We are all in process and God has a path of purpose for you!" Can you imagine it? The shepherds were pulling an all-nighter as the silent night erupted into an angelic announcement just for them. This group of ordinary, dirty shepherds - who were considered outcasts by most - witnessed one of the most awe-inspiring moments in the Bible when a cloud of heavenly hosts started celebrating the arrival of Jesus! The shepherds remind us that no matter who we are, where we've been, or what we've done, God has a path and purpose for our lives. We are all in process. None of us has arrived, yet. No matter how insignificant or hopeless life may feel, regardless of how dire your situation may be, whether you struggle with addiction or you just don't feel like you measure up, God considers you highly valuable. And he desires to change lives through you, starting with yours! Though their testimony couldn't even be used in the court of law, God used these shepherds to testify. They were the first witnesses to the birth of Jesus and God used them to spread the word of their encounter. Isn't that something? Shepherds. They remind us that we have no excuses. Hope and healing will be found in Christ and restoration will continue as we share with others what Jesus has done in our lives.
Act Monday morning, we will return to schools, work spaces, practice fields, or maybe talking to a neighbor while on a walk to the mailbox. What if along the way you looked for an opportunity to slow down and listen to someone? Ask them questions and look for a chance to simply encourage and allow Jesus to start to reveal himself through you.
Pray Lord Jesus, give me the presence of mind to take a momentary break from the hustle and bustle of life and value the person in front of me as much as you do. Use my story of what you have done in my life to encourage someone else. Amen.