Updated: Jan 9
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!
Luke 2:8-11 NLT
Did you hear that? Oh, I hope you didn't miss that. You're in the nativity story. Yes, YOU. Right there in the field tending your sheep as good shepherds and leaders do.
What was God doing?
When introducing a radical change, we know that to communicate your vision effectively and build momentum behind it you must rally the leaders first. And that's what God did. But He didn't send angels to kings or govenors or priests or Rabbis...because Jesus would not identity with those who saw leadership as only power or authority or manipulation. And from what we'd see in the next 30 years, their hearts were probably too hard to hear God anyway.
No, they wouldn't do. Instead, Jesus identified with shepherds who had a heart for caring for and protecting their flock of sheep. Therefore God sent His angels to lowly shepherds in the field nearby. There they were in the cold and dark watching over their sheep. They were on the clock. They were fulfilling their duty. Isn't it something how God has always had a way of transforming people at work and rewarding their faithfulness? In those days, God's people understood that He had a place in every area of their life, not just at church or at home or wherever problems showed up. Yes, God met them at work. When He visits you at work, what will He see?
Again, that's who God the Father and Jesus the Son identified with in the Old Testament and the New in regards to leadership or the stewardship of His people.
“For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search and find my sheep. I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day.
Ezekiel 34:11-12 NLT
And in John, Jesus said...
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.
John 10:11, 14-15 NLT
Shepherds know the blessing and the burden of leadership. They know the long hours, the daily battles, and the many sacrifices. And with all that, God does it willingly and lovingly, because the sheep mean so much to them (...in many ways and for many reasons). And then He sent Jesus to be the shepherd of shepherds and the leader of leaders to model how it's supposed to be done. You don't have to figure out what great leadership looks like or what your role requires of you. Jesus lived it and he taught it.
You need to know that God's plan for humanity involves humble, loving, and Spirit-filled Heart Leaders like you to lead and care for His people. Whether you're an executive in a corporation or a pastor in a church, you're a shepherd to whom God has entrusted the good news (gospel) of Jesus. To whom will you share it? In Luke 2, the shepherds told everyone they knew. Will you? When others listen to your heart, what will they hear?
I invite you to watch one of the most moving Christmas stories I've ever seen, "The Shepherd". It's only 25 mind long but it's impact will last a lifetime.
Watch it here: https://youtu.be/paOjgZZDads
God bless you and Merry Christmas!
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