what if they had not shown up?

Read: Luke 2:8-20

Reflect: Have you ever worked a job which was hard mentally, physically, and emotionally? Did you have trouble dragging yourself to work?  Possibly, it seemed like the other workers actually checked mentally out the minute they arrived. Looking around, you saw them checking their phones, updating their stats on Football Fantasy, or searching the internet for favorite cat videos. And yet, you come to work every day. It is not because it was the perfect job, but as a believer, you realize that God, not that human in management, is actually your Boss. You want to make your Heavenly Father proud.

What if half the crew didn’t show up?

Try reimagining the shepherd portion of the Christmas story through contemporary eyes.  The pay is lousy, the working conditions less than ideal. Shepherding is not considered a rung on the ladder of success.  What if half the work crew didn’t show up the night because they just wanted to stay home?  It may have been the night when the Eagles finally won the playoffs.  For those who did show up that evening, a good portion of them were mentally on vacation.  Several wolves had dragged off sheep and the workers could have cared less.

lives changed forever

The Bible does not tell us the number of shepherds that showed up for work that night.  We don’t know their mindset or their spiritual condition.  We do know that whoever was there, their lives were changed forever. Showing up made a difference, regardless of how their night had begun.

surprise!

In the dead of night, suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.  The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! Another heavenly surprise awaited the shepherds as they were then serenaded by God’s number one singing group. The angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

There was no lengthy employee meeting over what the shepherds should do next.  They ran as fast as they could to Bethlehem to witness the event, the arrival of the Promised Messiah. There is no mention of who stayed with the sheep; possibly part of the angelic choir?

they had seen the hand of god

We do know from the account that they told everyone they could about what they had witnessed.  These uneducated, rough men from the “wrong side of the tracks” were God’s first messengers. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. They had seen the Hand of God. Their lives would never be the same again.

As for those who didn’t show up for work that night? They missed witnessing Heaven coming down; God’s grand opening show.  They missed the blessing.

god is involved in the mundane

Who am I writing this piece for? Those of us who are barely showing up for life.  Maybe our bodies are there, but our hearts, minds and spirits are elsewhere.  We assume that God can’t be in the everyday, the mundane. Chuck Swindoll wrote: “God specializes in turning the mundane into the meaningful. God not only moves in unusual ways; He also moves on uneventful days. He is just as involved in the mundane as He is in the miraculous.”

show up!

Aren’t you glad the shepherds showed up that night? Maybe your conditions are mundane, dry, boring or just downright difficult. God asks us daily to show up and be ready for Him to be present and to work. Remember, “He is just as involved in the mundane as He is in the miraculous”. How is you attitude of expectation?

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