Just another traveler on life’s highway hanging out in the slow lane. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. Beyond the horizon is rest calling my name. Green pastures, still waters, my cup overflows.
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.” LUKE 2:8-9
Shepherds! Who would have thought the Messiah would be introduced in the world to shepherds? Truly, our God has a sense of humor. Or perhaps the message of Jesus was intended for those who had little about which to cheer. Maybe it was meant to empower the oppressed and downtrodden, those whom proper society and righteous religionists had disinherited.
God showed them, right? At that moment in the story of Jesus of Nazareth, the subsequent storytellers let the entire world know, through shepherds and wise men, whom would receive the inheritance of a gracious and loving God. The life and teachings of a poor, probably homeless, vagabond Jew set the table for a resounding rebuke of elitist power and control. The story which was told and retold showed mankind that truth and power and salvation resided in a singular action available to all peoples – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all you soul, all your mind, and all your strength,”….and love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:30-31
God told us, right? God incarnated in that baby who spawned the writings which have changed the world. Why would I not listen? Why would I not sit with the shepherds in the hillside pastures outside the town of Bethlehem and celebrate “Glory to God in the highest, peace and good will toward men?”
Maybe it’s just a story, maybe not. But, when ‘just a story’ can bring joy to the disheartened, salvage a lost soul, make sober the alcoholic, then, to those of us who needed to be broken in order to be healed, it has to be the greatest story ever told. AMEN!