Forget the Sheep

Reprinted from Advent 1990:

Several years ago I read a devotional by Jo Carr that has stayed with me, and I would like to share it with you.

In this meditation, as she was retelling the story of the shepherds and the angels, she suggested that the shepherds with their frightened sheep almost missed the Messiah. The short range view of these simple men was on the sheep; so the message of angels was almost overlooked. As the shepherds rounded up their woolly charges, they began to discuss among themselves if they dared leave the sheep and go into Bethlehem to see this miracle that had come to pass. A bunch of sheep almost caused them to miss the happening of the age!

We do the same thing. Unable to look at the larger scope of our lives, we try every year to “make” Christmas perfect. We want our house, tree, food, and entertainment to be something out of a magazine or a picturebook. If the relatives are hard to bear, the children too demanding, the money too tight, the turkey too dry, we think that Christmas has been spoiled. We fail to recognize that a miracle has taken place and is still taking place. The “sheep” of the NOW blind and deafen us to the Miracle of the Ages: God has come in the form of the Babe of Bethlehem so that we may understand Him and He us. The shepherds were among the privileged to get the news first hand, and they might have missed it by staying and rounding up the cranky sheep.

Don’t allow the “sheep” of this year to keep you from celebrating the real meaning of this blessed event. Even if the relatives are a bit much, the tree isn’t perfect or one of the kids gets the chicken-pox, take time out every day during this Advent season to tune out the “sheep” and thank God for his wonderful gift.

And the Angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:9-11
June Landrum
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