Can you imagine being one of the shepherds on the night Jesus was born? I’m not sure what made them so special that angels came and told them about what had happened in Bethlehem, but they left the flocks they were guarding to go see something incredible.
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. And angle of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified…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.” (Luke 2:8-9, 15).
Now, I know that we are not supposed to envy. But I’ll be honest, I’m a bit envious of these guys. Can you imagine walking into that stable? It’s just you, Joseph and Mary, and the tiny infant Jesus. He is lying in the manger wiggling an arm for maybe the first time ever. You reach out and His little hand grabs your out-stretched finger. And you can’t help but thing how that precious, little, innocent hand will one day be pierced for you. Yes, I am a bit envious of these men.
However, in order to have such an intimate moment with God, they had to leave their flocks. What if they had said, “Wow! That’s incredible news and I’m really excited. But we can’t go, at least not right now. If we leave our sheep, something might happen to them and we need these flocks.” No, they left their possessions, their income, their source of wool, their food. They left everything. But because of that, they stood in the presence of God.
What are you willing to give up to be in the presence of God? Are you willing to give up your possessions? Your income? Your shelter? Your food? Are you willing to give up everything for the chance to reach out and have that nail-scarred hand grab yours?
In one week we celebrate the miracle of Christ’s birth. May you be willing to give up everything to go meet Him.