And there were SHEPHERDS living out in the fields,
keeping watch over their flocks at night.
An angel of the Lord appeared to them,
and the glory of the Lord shone around them
- Luke 2:8-9
Far outside the city lights, away of all the important wheeling and dealing and maneuvering of the significant and influential people of the world, a group of worn out and dirty shepherds sat under the dark night sky. As was their custom, they sat around a fire and told their Shepherd Tales.
The pain and struggle of their hard and lonely lives tending sheep rose up with the sparks, prayers and longing flying like shooting stars up to the heavens. These were insignificant people and insignificant stories in all ways except for one - a legion of angel’s had selected them to be the first to receive the news of the birth of the new king of heaven and earth.
But why had they been selected?
Why reveal the birth of a king to the likes of smelly, lonely shepherds?
The answer lies in their ancient shepherd tales.
Stories of shepherds and sheep, courage and monotony stretching back for thousands of years. Lions defeated. Bears overcome. Droughts survived. And there were losses too. These were not visions of grandeur and battle and glory and victory and vast treasures - such dreams were too lofty for those consigned to watch sheep.
No. These were shepherd’s tales. Years spent alone. Love lost from the long and lonely journeys with the sheep. But some of their tales were as ancient as the world…
…meanwhile from the other side of the night sky, a host of happy angels danced in anticipation excited as they looked down on the haggard shepherds sitting around their little fire. Thinking themselves to be invisible, these shepherds were in fact at the very center of the massive cosmic events that were unfolding…
(preached at Brooklife Church)