And There Were Shepherds… Keeping Watch Over Their Flocks at Night

Lately I’ve been pondering the characters of the Christmas story as I’ve taught my high school Sunday school class about advent. There are so many aspects and people to consider: Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, King Herod. With whom do you relate?

There was a season in my life when I could certainly identify with the shepherds.

The lowly shepherds who were just doing their jobs. Protecting their sheep and warding off dangerous animals. They were exhausted, dirty, and probably feeling left out as they were marginalized, living on the outside of society. 

As moms, don’t we often feel the same way? I can still vividly remember times in my life when I felt just like those lowly shepherds. Maybe you aren’t in a season like that anymore but I bet you can remember a time in your motherhood that was really hard.

A season when you didn’t get nearly enough sleep.

A season when you got up early every morning to feed screaming babies.

A season when every single day felt the same as you attempted to care for these little humans God had placed in your life.

A season when you were just trying to survive.

I’m not really in survival mode anymore but I can still relate to those shepherds. Because today I’m still just trying to “do my job” as a parent. It’s not glamorous or even all that exciting on most days. This is a season where I’m putting my children on school busses and praying for their safety, hoping they will be protected from the dangers this world brings. A season where I’m teaching them obedience and pulling them back into our family fold when they stray too far.

As moms, we are often exhausted and dirty, covered in spit up with our hair thrown in a messy bun on top of our heads. Sometimes our children run to jump in our arms, grasping our necks with their tiny hands, and we think to ourselves, “This is the best feeling in the world,” only to discover, as they scurry down from that little bear hug, that they’ve left behind snot or dirt on the shoulders of your clothing. (Or is that just my kids?)

Just like those shepherds, we sometimes feel alone, left out, like we no longer matter to the rest of the world. But God appeared to the shepherds in their most mundane of tasks, in something they did day in and day out. And He entrusted them with the greatest news – the news that His Son had been born.

Friend, the Lord appears to us in that way as well. He shows up in the everyday minutia of our lives, when we’re least expecting it.

Our actions are often unseen by those around us. But you are seen by God, the Creator of the universe. And what you are doing matters. You are raising a generation of Christ-followers.

Isaiah 40:11 (NIV) says this: “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.” 

Young mom, Jesus wants to gather you in His arms. He wants to hold you close when you are downcast and hurting. His Word tells us that He will gently lead you as you mother your children.

Let Him lead you.

May you hear the good news of Jesus today.

Merry Christmas.

4 thoughts on “And There Were Shepherds… Keeping Watch Over Their Flocks at Night

  1. Adrienne, this was a beautiful reminder to me on this morning with wrapping paper shreds, toys, and sharp pine needles blanketing the living room as I seek to spend time with the Lord. Thank you for this line: God appeared to the shepherds in their most mundane of tasks . . . Yes! This mission of motherhood sometimes feels so ordinary, but this doesn’t mean God won’t show up in the midst!

  2. Wow Adrienne what a beautiful example. Love this. I’m not in that season anymore. My season now is as a Nana and how glorious it is. I get to enjoy the good parts about those babies – I have 3 that are almost 10 months old, a 4 year old and a 3 year old.

    The most mundane of tasks I learned are some of the most important.

    1. I’m sure you have lots of wisdom to bestow! Thank you for the reminder that the mundane can also be the most important.

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