Shepherds • Devotion #5: Hide Then Go Seek
John Hubbard | Worship Leader
I will always remember the first time my family went to Disney World. I was the oldest of four kids so we did not go until I was fourteen. You might think that at fourteen I would be too old to think Disney World would be cool, but even then, as we approached in the car I was training my eyes on the horizon. Nearby was this place I had known of and knew so much about but had never seen and I was so excited to confirm it with my own eyes. I did not doubt that it was real, but there is a certainty that visual confirmation brings, an understanding that I desired to have. I imagine this is only an inkling of the emotions that ran through the shepherds just outside of Bethlehem. In Luke 2:15-16 the shepherds have just witnessed a choir of angels proclaiming the birth of Jesus.
“When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.”
The shepherds were on such a rollercoaster of emotions in such a short span of time. An angel appeared to them and they were frightened, then many more appeared and began to sing, then just as suddenly as they appeared they were gone. God wanted the shepherds to be a part of something that would be talked about for generations, literally thousands of years. Like most things that will have an eternal significance, the first reaction is fear. Your fear can paralyze you into missing out on God’s plan. What if Moses had run from the burning bush? What if he was too afraid to run until afterward (similar to Jonah) once he thought God was not looking? Of course, He was looking all along.
These shepherds overcame their fear of the angels and were filled with excitement at the news they heard. They had an experience of intimate worship with God. Then the shepherds gathered their belongings and went to share a meal. They probably talked about how great they felt, cherishing that awesome chorus when the angels sang or how cool it was when the drums and light show really picked up on the bridge. They could hear the voices so well. Do not forget the sharing of the Word that was so touching and moving. That started to sound a lot like Sunday afternoon lunch, did it not? No, these men did not need to sit and reflect on what had happened. They were going to make sure that they did not miss out on the next thing God was doing. They were so excited about the Good News the angels had brought that they went with haste and found where Jesus had been born, and they worshiped Him there.
Now, reflection and remembering a special moment is a not bad thing, those precious times with God are a foundation of your personal testimony. I know that for me, when God calls and makes it clear when His train is leaving the station, I do not want to miss it because it scares me at first.