All this talk of shepherds and angels, and eventually the lines all fade. I’ve got to wonder if that’s the point. Consider…
Shepherds were tough guys, but not the great guys…they were the last in line for inheritance, the hired hands, the cast offs. Yet, they cared for the livelihood of the people through the gentle sheep that provided milk and meat and cloth.
Angels showed up in unexpected places with mind-blowing news and every time they pop in like that they have to start the conversation with, “Do not be afraid.” Yeah sure. Whatever you say.
I recently found myself watching a lunchroom full of kids opening Blessing Boxes – Christmas gifts put together by the children, youth and coaches of Hyde Park Community UMC, and given to students at Rothenberg Preparatory Academy in Over-the-Rhine. This little one was overwhelmed by what she found in her box.
When I looked at her expression, I thought, “that’s what I would look like if I saw an angel.”
And then I realized I was looking at an angel.
And she was shepherding me.
Because what she was so excited about … what she had just pulled out of her Blessing Box, was a new toothbrush. A toothbrush that some stranger had taken the time to find and buy and wrap and bring and give.
Read Luke 2:8-14 and be transported from the small intimate whispers of the family in the manger to the bright and blazing skies, and tough guy’s surprise. Do you hear in the story how small things become big?
Some small thing you do this year might just change a life…but be ready! The life that’s changed might just be yours.
Shepherds become angels and angels become shepherds and the lines that divide us…well they all simply fade.