Luke 2: 17.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,
18.  and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 

And the shepherds are never mentioned further in scripture.

They didn’t know Mary and Joseph. Mary and Joseph didn’t know them. Mary and Joseph were soon busy fleeing for their lives so there would have been no further opportunities for return visits. Their story survives only because it was one of the remarkable memories Mary shared years later with Luke.

Presumably the shepherds returned to their jobs in all its boring routine. The one spectacular night when they saw the skies filled with angels, followed by a visit to an ordinary looking baby, soon became an old memory. Nothing happened in the next 30 years to quite clarify or justify anyone remembering the odd story these field hands told. At some point did they stop telling it? Herod’s order to kill all the babies in Bethlehem surely reached their ears. Perhaps they thought the baby they saw had also been killed. That would have made their story even more dangerous to tell later.

No doubt for the shepherds, life continued with little change that they could see. It has happened to others. After  her death, we learned that Mother Teresa struggled for years with the silence of God after she believed He had spoken to her clearly about being a missionary to India. I wonder, myself, after years of ministry-service in the public eye, why God would allow me to be crippled up at home for so long. I haven’t seen a sky full of angels but I have seen moments I can explain in no other way than to believe Jesus was present. Those moments have been followed by a lengthening season that seems quite different.

Am I able to still tend to the simple needs of whatever sheep are still needing my attention? Those sheep probably want to know.


About Deacon Rick

I am a retired Deacon in Lakeland Florida.
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4 Responses to Shepherds

  1. sian656 says:

    Beautiful, Rick. Love your blogs. I am praying for you!

  2. Joe Mawhinney says:

    Deacon Rick,

    To say the obvious, the one that you don’t shy away from and seem so patiently to endure, God has given you a physical challenge. But, your challenge is wrapped around the miracle that your mind and communication skills remain intact and you possess this remarkable ability to see the point and go straight to it, and patiently show the rest of us the path so that we might see what we would otherwise miss.

    Today was a busy day and I was about to skip over your post for now, thinking I would circle back and catch it later. But, a voice said, “Read it now.” I am so glad He did. We are told this is the dawn of redeeming grace; may we all be so blessed with the patience to recognize and realize it.

    God’s peace,

    Joe Mawhinney

  3. Ignacio says:

    I believe that God is using you as an example to all of us. An example of strength, humility, and faith. At least you and Melanie are that for me and more.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May God love and keep you. ie

  4. Ed Headington says:

    I think you are attending your sheep every day, RIck. Not the least of which is me!

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