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.’ So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. (Luke 2:15 + 16)
Sometimes I wonder what became of the shepherds after this event. What were they thinking during those 30ish years that Jesus was not in the public eye? Did they talk to each other about the experience, wondering if it was even real?
And later, did they go to hear him teach? Did they come to him with their needs, with sick family members?
Were they there at his crucifixion? Did they see him after his resurrection?
Did any of them join his first band of followers?
We don’t know. Maybe some of them did. I hope so!
“Let us go!” would have looked so different in those seasons. No angels telling them where to go. Maybe no community to share the experience with, giving each other courage.
Instead the distractions of everyday life. The worries, the fears, the busyness. But also the memory of what happened. The longing to see him again. Wondering what it meant that he was the Saviour, the Messiah, as the angel had said.
What about you? What about me? What season are we in? What does “Let us go!” look like right now?
Sometimes it’s so full of excitement, of wonder. Other times it’s sheer discipline. Sometimes it feels like I’m clinging on for dear life (only to discover it’s Him holding me, not the other way around).
In some seasons, it takes a lot of courage. Going into a new place, a new culture, a new language. Being away from those I’m used to journeying with. Or realising He is calling me to new ways of coming to Him.
I wonder what happened to those shepherds. I wonder if any of them followed him. I hope so!
In the midst of challenges, of busyness, of questions, of great joy – let us go! Alone and in community – let us go! Today. This Christmas. Whatever that might look like for each of us right now.
This post has been linked to Velvet Ashes, an encouraging site for women serving cross-culturally.