As New Year’s Eve approaches, you might already be thinking of your excuse for staying home.
“It’ll be too crowded.”
“The roads are too dangerous.”
“I can’t stay up until midnight.”
There are plenty of good reasons to just stay home. There always are.
But not for the shepherds.
I imagine the angels appearing to the shepherds about 4 hours past my bedtime. They are “keeping watch over their flocks” (2:8), which could translate into “I’m just resting my eyes…” Then, suddenly:
GOOD NEWS! GREAT JOY!
And they were terrified.
After the angel tells them where the Messiah has been born, after the heavenly chorus sings, after all the supernatural beings leave and the night is quiet again – after all that, the shepherds say a radical thing:
“Let’s go” (2:15).
There would have been valid reasons to stay put.
“We must have dreamt that up.”
“We should wait until morning before we do anything.”
“Who will watch the sheep if we go?”
But instead, the shepherds GO.
Sometimes, God points something out to us. By a tug in our hearts we feel God drawing our attention to a particular place, or a group of people, or a project. When that happens, we can find plenty of reasons to stay in our comfort zones:
“I don’t have enough money.”
“I don’t have enough time.”
“I’m not important enough.”
“I’m too important.”
There are always plenty of reasons to stay. But when God calls, there is only one right response: