"And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. - And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." Luke 2:9-10
On our recent trip to Israel we were able to visit Bethlehem and sit on the hills where the shepherds would have watched over their flocks. We learnt that the shepherds of Bethlehem would have been rearing the lambs that were sacrificed in the temple in Jerusalem. In fact, from the hills, they would have been able to see the smoke coming from the temple. A constant reminder of where their flock was headed; a continual symbol of the sin of the people that needed to be atoned for.
It was this group of people to whom God the Father chose to reveal his rescue plan. The men, charged with the task of rearing the lambs to be slaughtered, would be the first to meet the final sacrificial lamb.
Nothing is by accident when God steps in and touches people's lives. Every tiny detail is of awesome significance in his kingdom economy. Too often we glance at the surface and miss the incredible intricacy of his plan. That night the shepherds discovered their destiny; their work with the sheep had been foreshadowing what their saviour would do for them. They got to see the fulfilment of a promise and bear witness to the fact that the true lamb had come.
What I love the most is that God stepped into their world right there on the hill. They were going about their everyday life, nothing special or out of the ordinary. Too often we worry about missing God, missing his plan or purpose in our life. We need to remember when God wants to get our attention he has the host of heaven at his disposal! We won't miss him!