Day 25

The Shepherds and the Angels

Luke 2:1-20, Isaiah 9:2-7

BY Guest Writer

The ground must have felt unbearably cold, and the sky must have seemed a thousand shades darker. How do you go back to just herding sheep after that?

Being a sheep farmer myself, I can’t help but feel a kinship with the shepherds in the Christmas story. They were just doing their job, tending their sheep in a moonlit field, when an angel appeared to them and announced Christ’s birth (Luke 2:9–10).

Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:

Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace on earth to people he favors! (vv.13–14).

After what I imagine to be a supernatural concert, backlit by a cosmic light show, the shepherds raced into town to see the remarkable child. One minute they were staring at sheep, then a heavenly choir of angels, and then they were looking into the the tiny face of the Savior of mankind. Before Jesus’s newborn eyes had adjusted to see the sin-filled world He came to save, the shepherds got to gaze upon His wonderful face.

But then…

“The shepherds returned” (v.20)—to their jobs and their junk, their homes and herds, and to their desperate need for a Savior.

The shepherds were bearers of wonder (v.18). Their role in the story of Christ’s arrival was simply to marvel at the miraculous thing He accomplished for us, and their awe is contagious. We join them in declaring, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us” (v.15).

And yet…

The joy of this season fades far too quickly. Soon enough we will pack holiday decorations back into dusty boxes. We will go back to mundane tasks, and in contrast to the brightness of Christmas, the world will seem a little darker, a little colder.

Perhaps declaring the wonder of Christmas is not the shepherds’ only job. They also show us how to carry on as we wait for the sky to light up again. For one day we “will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30).

Christ will come again for us, this time not as a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, but as a victor, clothed in royal robes of glory (Revelation 19:16). For now, we live in the in-between—the space between His sacrifice and His second-coming, His birth and the day when He will make “all things new” (Revelation 21:5).

The shepherds lit a spark that first Christmas. It’s a light that gets passed between us as we wait for Christ to come again. May we remain wonder-bearers, marveling at the miracle of Christ’s arrival, even in the darkness. And like those shepherds, may our hearts be filled with joy and thanksgiving, “glorifying and praising God for all [we have] heard and seen” (Luke 2:20).

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.


Post Comments (49)

49 thoughts on "The Shepherds and the Angels"

  1. Amara Bratcher says:

    A beautiful word from Erin Davis – one of the most thought provoking ones I have read this year!

  2. Sharon W says:

    Let my life shine for my LORD all year long! I want His warmth to radiate His love within me.

  3. Caralee Lilly says:

    I loved that she said that their job was to show us how to live in the darkness until the light shines again. As I trudge through this new darkness I pray I will be patient and faithful with expectation of light again.

  4. Meg Herndon says:


  5. CJ Avakian says:

    I like talking about how it’s hard to go back to regular life after Christmas. It’s such a celebration and then it’s over. I see the shepherds did the same, what a marvelous thing they saw and experienced and then they returned to their everyday lives. But they returned with such joy and awe at what they experienced and wanted to tell others.

  6. Angie says:

    Joseph and Mary arrived at Bethlehem, exactly as planned by God and government – and yet there is no room available for them.

    The shepherds, working as planned, until the sky exploded with light and the glory of the Lord shone around them, left their job, found the Messiah-babe, and shared the message of his birth.

    Obedience is obedience, simply.
    We would expect a room for God’s Son to be born – instead Jesus was born in a cave/stable
    We would expect people of esteem to be present – instead lowly shepherds heard & heralded the news

    Obedience is obedience, simply.
    When you have been in the presence of the glory of the Lord, His Light, Love, Joy, and Peace nothing is the same.
    Obedience is simply obedience.

    Joseph cared for the womb that would birth the Son of God, and walked in obedience.
    Mary carried the Son of God, felt His every movement, treasured all things, and lived obedience.
    The shepherds heard the message, trusting what the Lord made known to them,
    worshiped and followed with proclamation of glory and praise to God in obedience.

    May I care for those the Son of God gives me in obedience.
    May I recognize His movements and treasure Him always in obedience.
    May I hear and make known
    in praise and worship heralding the message of our Lord God in obedience.

    For, the people who have walked in darkness have seen a great Light;
    and His name is,
    Wonderful Counselor,
    Mighty God,
    Eternal Father,
    Prince of Peace


  7. Vicki Lynch says:


  8. Dorothy says:

    Churchmouse once again you have given me something to think about. Karen I would like to know that too. Dee Wilcox what a neat idea. Cayley Tripp so true. Julianne Rader I hope your Christmas went by okay I know it was hard. For all my follow SRT sisters who celebrated this year miss a loved one I know what you have experienced and hope and pray that all went well for you. My family is what Christmas is all about to me and though my mother died in 2012 and my father in 2017 we are still carrying on the same traditions.

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