We all have times in our lives that are opportunities for discovery, calling us toward movement and helping us to arise to a new level of awareness…to give witness to the truth and the light…to become more genuine. Depending on how we receive and respond, or not, these moments can become transformative and the grace that flows from them can continue far beyond one’s initial experience.
“Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them” (Luke 2:20).
One might imagine that the shepherds felt a sense of awe and wonder that night. What happened likely changed them in ways visible as well as ones hidden within. One might say it was a pivotal moment in their lives.
The shepherds were initially fearful at the appearance of the angel of the Lord, but like Mary and Joseph, they received the unexpected messenger and they listened with open minds and hearts to the message. In doing so, they were moved, in mind and spirit, and they responded.
They did not look away, but rather they took in, or embraced, the knowledge that had been shared with them and the experience around it.
“And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests'” (Luke 2:13-14).
It all started in the quiet of the night. What took place was powerful, moving the shepherds to leave their posts watching over their sheep. When they did, they went from entertaining an angel to encountering the newborn King.
With that, they experienced the hope and promise that comes with new life. An experience that could not be kept to themselves. “When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child.” (Luke 2:17)
In order for this to transpire, the shepherds had to step away from the flock…step outside of the norm. Only then could they witness what they had been told and spread the message so that all could arise from darkness into Light.
“Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock.
The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear.
The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.”
– Luke 2:8-20