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The Day I Became a Sheep - Girlfriends in God - December 29, 2014

  • 2014 Dec 29
  • COMMENTS

December 29, 2014
The Day I Became a Sheep
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about(Luke 2:15 NIV).

Friend to Friend

Today I want to share with you a story that I wrote a few years ago. Try to imagine what it would have been like to be one of the shepherds on the hillside on the first Christmas. For just a moment, I want you to pretend that you are reading a letter that one of the shepherds wrote to his brother, Mathias.

Dear Mathias:

As I am writing you this letter, my hand is still a bit shaky. I’m not sure it will ever stop. But I must tell you about an incredible experience that happened to Matthew, Simeon, Levi, and me, two weeks ago.

As usual, we were watching our sheep on a hillside east of Bethlehem. I was on the night watch and the others were sleeping. There was something unusual about the sky that night. I can’t explain it, really. Like heat reflecting off the desert sand, the stars seemed to be jockeying into place, fidgeting and restless in their usual stayed positions. Diamonds danced on the inky backdrop rather than standing sure and still. Even the sheep seemed to notice the heavenly mirage.

Then it happened. As if a curtain was pulled back, I saw what was stirring the stars…angels!  Yes, angels, angels, everywhere. Immediately, the others awoke to the celestial lights, flapping of wings and the resonation of indistinguishable singing.

At first, only one spoke. “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Then, the curtain was drawn back even more and the sky was filled with angels! “Glory to God in the highest!” they sang, “and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.”

The flapping of their wings stirred the air, whipped our hair, and blew our tunics in all directions. Amazingly, the sheep were calm during this majestic occurrence. It was almost as if this were nothing unusual. Perhaps this was not the first time they had seen an angel. Who knows? We, on the other hand, were awestruck. Tears streamed down our dusty cheeks. We fell to our knees, marveling at the beauty of heaven displayed before us.

Then quietly and slowly, the curtain returned and the angels were no more. We rose to our feet and began to run in the direction of Bethlehem to see this babe. How did we know where to go? 

Mathias, the only way I know how to explain it is to think of my relationship to my sheep. When I am grazing in a field with several of my friends and their flocks, our sheep get all mixed together. Sometimes five different flocks can be mingled together at one time. But as soon as I call to my sheep, they separate from the others and follow me home. They know my voice. Each and every one of them can distinguish the voice of their shepherd and they know whom to follow.

That’s how it was that night. It was as if a shepherd had called my name. I knew his voice and he called me out from among all the rest.

Where did we go? To a palace? To a temple? To a stately manor? No, we went to a stable. But isn’t that where a shepherd would call his sheep? To a stable?

What did we see? A burning bush like our ancestor Moses? Writing on the wall? A vision? No, we saw a baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger—just like the angel had said. He didn’t speak, but somehow he called our names. He is the Christ, Mathias. The one of which the prophets spoke.

Do you remember the prophet Isaiah’s words? “He tends his flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”

When I saw the babe (who later his parents told me was named Jesus) I knew this was the one the prophet spoke of. And didn’t the prophet Micah say the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem? It all makes sense to me now, and yet it is still a mystery.

Why me? Why did God choose to send the angels to announce the Savior’s birth to me—a lowly shepherd? I don’t know the answer to that, my friend. All I know is that one starry night, I was a shepherd. And then God spoke my name and I became a sheep. And now, God is calling your name as well. 

I don’t know what will become of this baby in the manger, but I do know this—the world will never be the same again—nor will I.

Shalom,

Your brother, the sheep.

©Sharon Jaynes

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, I am so glad that You sent the angels to common ordinary men. And I am so thankful that You chose to announce the Savior’s birth to a common ordinary girl—me.  Thank You for sending the Shepherd for me—one of Your sheep.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

The shepherds were not the only ones excited about Jesus’ birth. Why not try your hand at some creative writing. Imagine that you are one of the wise men (wise women). Try writing a letter to one of your family members after visiting Jesus and delivering your gift.

Aren’t you glad that you are one of the Shepherd’s sheep? If so, click over to my Facebook page and leave a comment that says “I’m glad I’m His sheep!” You can even add “baa baa” if you’d like!

More from the Girlfriends:

It is hard not to get caught up in the pre-Christmas swirl of activity and lose focus on what’s really important.  If you would like ways to keep Jesus the focus of your holiday season, check out my book, Celebrating a Christ-centered Christmas: Ideas from A-Z. It’s packed with helpful ideas and inspiration. And what could be better than giving the gift of prayer? For you married gals, check out Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe.

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