And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. Luke 2:8 KJV
When I briefly worked from 11pm till 6 am, I found myself suddenly a part of an exclusive group of people who only see the world from mid-night till dawn. On the night that Jesus was born, just above Bethlehem were shepherds who were the third shift workers of their day. The more important shepherds got the first shift jobs. But in the darkness of that night, those unnamed and seemingly unimportant third shift shepherds were about to become the first people on earth to hear the good news of Jesus Christ! That message was that God had remembered His people, He remembered Bethlehem and He even remembered shepherds whom everyone else had forgotten.
Did you ever stop to think that God also remembers you? He is not satisfied to visit only the better homes in the better neighborhoods with the biggest churches with their beautiful appearances. Just as the shepherds were watching their flocks at night so God watches over us when we are going through the darkest moments of our lives. He knows right where we are. He hears us and He still sends angels with His message of good news. There is no better place than right where you are to hear the news; that Jesus Christ came to bring hope and salvation to us all: even to third shift shepherds out in their fields at night!
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:25
We were so blessed to be celebrating our one year anniversary of prayer and praise meetings at Sunshine Christian Village. This was a meeting that never happened before the pandemic. We know God works all things together for good and He used our need for fellowship when the normal Sunday services inside the facility were cancelled to motivate us to start an outdoor fellow praise place at the fountain. Slowly we were allowed into the activity building which is separate from the facility and together as a team and with God’s help we are growing our outreach. Today the combined theme of our readings, message and songs was prayer and the 23rd Psalm. Towards the end I shared this song which the Lord gave me this year, called The Voice of the Shepherd. I not only hope you like the song but that you take time this weekend to open your heart and listen for the Shepherd’s voice. If you are His sheep He knows your name and is calling it today!
I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Matthew 10:16
Being born left-handed I painfully remember the upside down feeling of learning to write. At Hamilton Elementary, all children learned their penmanship right-handed. Nothing seemed to work for me. I gripped the pen the wrong way, I held my paper upside down, and on my report card every quarter appeared the inevitable F. Undoubtedly My teacher thought she this would help me in the long run but I could never shake the feeling of being wrong side up and different.
Being wrong side up and different is what Jesus is preparing us for when He sends us out to the world. He tells us we are going out like sheep among wolves. There is no real competition when it comes to a fight between sheep and wolves. Wolves have bigger teeth, are stronger and can run circles around sheep. Nevertheless the master sends us out. But we have one thing the wolf doesn’t- a shepherd!
For some of us in the church after we get into our first wolf-fight, our tendency is to sign up for the “How to fight like a Wolf” seminar. We think if we could just try a little harder, change our tactics or develop a quicker response, we would finally come out on top. But that wasn’t our Lord’s idea at all. What Jesus wanted was for us to be ready for the wolves, by walking right behind Him. Being strong and well protected by our teeth will never compare to having the protection of our Shepherd. We are no match for wolves, but they will run away as fast as they can, when they come face to face with our Shepherd. Then we can walk calmly through the valley even when our world seems upside down!