“While shepherds kept their watching o’er silent flocks by night, behold, throughout the heavens there shone a holy light.” (from the Christmas hymn “Go Tell It on the Mountain”)
One of my favorite aspects of this part of the Christmas story is that the shepherds had no idea what was coming their way. They were just hanging out, doing their job like any other night. They didn’t gather their sheep and sit around the campfire expecting to hear angels sing. They simply showed up for work.
In that ordinary moment, something extraordinary occurred, and they experienced a divine surprise. God broke through their monotony and rocked their world.
He does that for us as well. Perhaps he doesn’t send us a sky full of angels, but he breaks into our lives with blessings and revelations that change us forever—moving us far beyond anything we’d ever dreamed.
The Message Bible states it like this: “No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, never so much as imagined anything quite like it—what God has arranged for those who love him” (I Corinthians 2:9).
The Christmas season brings an excitement all its own, but the letdown afterward can be extreme. Life resumes its regular rhythm, tedium seeps in, and we can become disheartened. Some days we may even wonder why we bother to get out of bed. But we can find hope in this promise: God isn’t finished with us yet, and what he has planned for us will be amazing.
We can live on this side of hope by expecting, even actively looking for, the ways God will show himself to us in this day. Then we can start each morning “glorifying and praising God for all [we] have heard and seen” (Luke 2:20).
*Read the shepherds’ story in Luke 2:8-20.