December 16

Keeping Watch

“In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.”

Luke 2: 8

In our day and time, there are not many shepherds living in the fields, nor are their many cowboys riding the range. The closest we have to such livelihoods are the military stationed in combat or training operations.

Moreover, guarding sheep from predators is similar to troops’ nighttime guard duty protecting personnel from attackers. Being out of doors keeps us in contact with nature and God’s creation. Looking at the stars in heaven is humbling and inspiring.

Now, as was then, we long for better times and better lives. Imagine then the awe and trembling at receiving a sign from God in the heavens. The shepherds heard angels singing on high, and their joyful song of hope and salvation still sounds all around us, indoors and out.

Shepherds-Advent-Waiting-Watching-FUMC.jpg[Photo by Dan Kiefer on Unsplash]

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased,”

Luke 2:14

Sam Hopkins, Chaplain U.S. Army, ret.

Lord, keep me attentive for Your return and for the attack of the enemy. Prepare me with the faith to wear Your armor each day. Teach me to effectively wield the sword of the Spirit, which is Your Word.

 Additional readings: Ephesians 6:10-17, Romans 13:10-12

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