And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 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. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:8-12 (NIV) AM
The shepherds were at work that night just as they had been the night before. I don’t think that they had any idea that their lives were about to change – forever. Their workplace was outside in the fields and in the cold of night they only had the light of the stars to work by as they protected their flocks from danger.
We may not know exactly why the birth of Christ and the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy was announced to a group of shepherds but we do know that being a shepherd and working with animals at that time was considered a lowly profession with no status or perks.
Were these shepherds chosen because they fought against the boredom of the job and worked heartily day after day and night after night?
Were these shepherds chosen because they worshipped and praised God as they worked?
What did they do that caught the gaze of the Lord?
God could have chosen to make his birth announcement to rulers, kings or religious leaders but he chose to meet the working class where they were at in their workplace.
These were men of great faith. They believed the angel who appeared to them and with confidence left their work to go to Bethlehem to see what God had done. After they had seen the baby Jesus just as the angel said, they told everyone about what happened. These working men were the first evangelists for Jesus and the good news.
How easy it is to lose ourselves in work that can be all consuming or to be tempted to not work as hard as we should because it is not challenging enough. But if we do that, we are likely to miss it when God shows up where we work.
And if you ever wondered if God cared about what you do and where you work, your answer can be found in the shepherds who were at work that historic night.
- Why do you think the angel of the Lord showed up to the shepherds? Have you ever thought God has forgotten you in your place of work?
- In what ways do you catch the gaze of the Lord in your work?
- We can worship God when we work heartily as to him, pray continually and be joyful always. How can you worship God at work today?