Luke 2:8 says, “… there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.”
I just celebrated my 44th Christmas, my 19th as a pastor, and once again, I noticed something new and fresh right in the middle of Luke 2. Maybe it’s because I’m a shepherd of a flock myself … but the shepherds abiding in their fields caught my attention this year.
Then it happened – conviction!
Yes, there I was hanging out with the shepherds on a starlit night 2,000 years ago, abiding in my field just keeping watch over my flock both day and night – ‘tis the life of a pastor.
Imagine if the shepherds would have just stayed in their comfort zone, complacently enjoying the familiarity of their flock and faithfully leading the needy sheep under their watch-care, rather than responding to the light of God’s presence and the beckoning of the angelic invitation to come to Jesus. Of course, we know the shepherds of old traded their staff of shepherding for a mantle of evangelism.
As 2019 quickly approaches, I am more motivated than ever to open my eyes to see what God is up to in my place of service, open my ears to hear what the messenger of the Holy Spirit has to say, open my heart to be more sensitive to the daily invitation to come fellowship with Jesus, and to open my mouth to share the Good News of great joy to all people.
Pastors, shepherds and precious sheep, let us commit today not to be satisfied just to hang out under the stars enjoying the blessings of being a part of the flock.
Let’s escape the comfortable confines of our local church and be the church in 2019 like never before.