One Extraordinary Night
It started out just as another ordinary night.
The usual routine.
Shepherds watching over their flocks.
They humbly and industriously went about the business of their calling. Performing the mundane. The routine.
That's where God meets us most often.
Shepherding had a lowly place and shepherds were considered social outcasts. However, they were no ordinary shepherds. And that was no ordinary night. They had been chosen for a divine appointment scheduled from the beginning of time.
Stationed on the hills outside of Bethlehem, these men were Temple shepherds. Their skillful care ensured that there would be unblemished lambs to sacrifice to God each morning and evening in the Jerusalem Temple not far away.
They lived outside in the fields with their flocks watching for thieves and predatory animals. Working in shifts, some protected the flocks while others rested. All was as it should be that night. Nothing seemed out of place.
Being social outcasts of the day, the rabbis looked down their noses at shepherds. They despised shepherds as next door heathens. Perceived as untrustworthy, shepherds were not allowed to give testimony in court.
But that’s not how God saw them.
God passed over the self-important, the High Priest, Herod the Great, the Jewish religious leaders, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the politicians, Rome, and Jerusalem.
God was coming - and not just for important people. He came to the shepherds. He came for you. He came for me.
These shepherds didn’t realize they were about to hear the heavenly announcement that would change the course of all eternity. A night unlike any other in all Creation. One evening destined to change the history of the world.
These shepherds would be eye witnesses and give testimony to a story full of wonder. God, contained in the body of a newborn, descended. So that one day we could ascend.
How will you celebrate it?