A Shepherd’s Musings

 

In my last post you heard from Mary. Today, let’s hear from one of the Shepherds from that starry night so long ago.

Have you ever wondered what it must have been like to be a shepherd on the Judean hillside when the angels appeared to announce Jesus’ birth? The fear? The excitement? The confusion? The urgency? 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. Sense the wonder anew.

 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 night 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 undistinguishable 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 happening. 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 like King Belshazzar? A vision like young Joseph? 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 of whom the prophet spoke. 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, my friend, 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

 The Shepherd became a Sheep 

The angels appeared and called to me
“Be not afraid, dear one.
For you are now a lowly sheep
For you God sent His Son.”

“Go to the babe and see him there
We will lead the way.
The shepherd has chosen you—a sheep
To celebrate this day.”

We ran and saw the baby there
I’ll never be the same.
He raised his eyes, said not a word,
And yet he spoke my name.

Years have passed and now I know
This babe became a man.
He lived and died and rose again
And now I understand.

“Follow me,” Jesus said,
“And I will lead the way.”
“My sheep listen, know my voice
And with me they will stay.”

I was a shepherd, to be sure.
My sheep slept at my feet.
But on that night the babe was born,
I became a sheep.

©Sharon Jaynes

My prayer for each of us is that we will be sheep who listen to the Shepherd’s voice. If you’ll join me in listening to His still small voice that speaks to our hearts, click on the comment button below and say, “I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!”

Want More?
For more Christmas inspiration, see my book, Celebrating a Christ Centered Christmas: Ideas from A-Z. Also Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe is now available for pre-order.

Congratulations to the Winners
Congratulations to the two winners of the random drawing from the comments on the post, This Old House. They will receive 2 Starbuck’s gift cards–one for themselves and one for their special friend.

Maryann and her friend Charlotte
Danna and her friend Jackie

Congratulations to the 7 winners of the random drawing from the Guestbook posts from my website “House Warming” party in November. Each one received a free copy of Listening to God Day by Day

Jeannette Steward
Janel Adams
Karen Wiebe
Cindy Ballantyne
Michelle Fitzgerald
Sylvia Buteau
Ruth Roberts

96 Responses to A Shepherd’s Musings

  1. Christine Nicholl December 5, 2013 at 9:53 am #

    I am listening to the voice of my Shepherd today, December 5th 2013.

    • Rose December 5, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

      Im listening for my shepherds voice today!

    • Beverly December 6, 2013 at 5:26 am #

      I’m listening…

  2. sheila December 5, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    am listening to his voice

  3. Bridget Lynch December 5, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!

  4. Jemma December 5, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    I am listening to HIS voice today!!

  5. Michele December 5, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!

  6. Paula December 5, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    I am listening for the shepherd’s voice today!

  7. Buki December 5, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    I’m listening to the Shepherd’s voice today!

  8. Tammy Jo December 5, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    I’m listening for The Shepherd’s voice today and every day. 🙂

  9. susie randall December 5, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    I’m listening to the Shepherd’s voice today! ?

  10. Cindy Jackson December 5, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!

  11. Stephanie Soto December 5, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    I will listen to the Sheperd’s voice today!!!

  12. Paula Evans December 5, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    I’m listening for the shepherds voice today!

  13. Marianne Orr December 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    I am listening for the Shepherds voice!!! Thanks Sharon for the devotion.

  14. Theresa jamerson December 5, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    I am listening for the voice of my Shepard today? I will do as he says

  15. Theresa jamerson December 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    I will listen for my shepards voice today!

  16. Hattie Montague December 5, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    I’m listening for the shepherds voice today

  17. Sue Randall December 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    I am listening to the Sherpherd’s voice!!!!! Thank you!!!

  18. Rhonda December 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    I am listening for the Shepards voice today.

  19. Priscilla December 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today.

  20. Pat mc December 5, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    I am listening to my pre ions Shepherd today. What an inspiration you are to so many. May God continue to use you in a mighty way.

    • Pat mc December 5, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

      That word is suppose to be precious Shepherd.

  21. maria December 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    I´m listening for the shepherd voice today.

  22. Margie December 5, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    Today I pray The Shepherd’s voice will change me.

  23. Lisa December 5, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    The LORD is my Shepherd, my Master. I am listening for His Voice today.

  24. Mary Weiss December 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    I am listening for the shepherds voice today!

  25. Jane Brizendine December 5, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    “I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!”

    Sharon, thank you for these Christmas messages. Mary and this one the Shepherd have touched my heart. I look forward to the next one. God is using you to bless many!

  26. Mary December 5, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    I am listening for the Shepard’s voice today!

  27. Barb December 5, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    I am listening for the Shepard’s voice today.

    Thank you for the encouragement.

  28. Paige December 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    I’m listening for the Shepherds’s voice today.

  29. Jeannette Steward December 5, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    I, too, am listening for His voice everyday. I so enjoyed this post, as I did yesterday’s. Sharon you are an awesome writer. Love, love, love reading your posts! Thank you so much for your inspiration! God bless!

  30. Teresa Kalcevic December 5, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    I am listening for the shepherd’s voice.

  31. Karen Anderson December 5, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    This message brought me to me knees in tears! The Glory of our God..that He loved us so much! To think that this just might be how it was…you explained the majesty of our precious Savior and the excitement of creation at His birth like non other! Thank you for posting HIS love in this way to us today! You have touched my heart in a way I can not explain! Think this….it will be that way again as He brings us home! Oh how I can not wait! Thank you Sharon and may God Bless you and your family this beautiful Christmas Season and the coming year! Today…I will listen to the Shepherds voice..and tomorrow…and the next…..

    • Sharon Jaynes December 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

      Thank you so much for your encouragement!

  32. Tamara December 5, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    “I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!”

  33. wendy December 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    “I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!”

  34. Shawn December 5, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    I am listening for the Shepherds voice today!

  35. Andrea December 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    I am listening to the Shepherd’s voice today…and every day.

  36. Missy December 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    “I am listening for my Shepherd’s voice today.”

  37. Priscilla Guerrero December 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    I’m listening for my Shepherd’s voice today! 🙂

  38. Ileana December 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    “I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!”

  39. Joycelyn Brown December 5, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    I am listening

  40. Rebecca December 5, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    I am going to listen for My Shepherd’s voice today. I will hear Him and be comforted.

  41. Sally Casner December 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    I am listening for the Shepherds voice today!

  42. Vanessa Gaskins December 5, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!

  43. Melissa December 5, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    “I will listen to my Shepherd’s voice today!”
    Thank you for this devotion. As I think of all of the names of our Messiah, just to know that He is my Shepherd brings comfort. I know my Shepherd leads me through all things, and He can use me just as He did the shepherds on that glorious night!

  44. Cyndee December 5, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    “I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!”

  45. Christine December 5, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    I am listening to the Shepherd’s voice today!

  46. Sharon December 5, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    “I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today…and every day!” I’ve found it is the only way to experience peace in my life.

  47. Dianne December 5, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    I am listening to the shepards voice today!!:)

  48. Kathleen December 5, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    What a beautiful story and beautiful picture!!! Thankyou so much for all you encouragement and teaching. I had never thought about how Jesus was referred to as the Shepherd and sure enough the angels chose a shepherd boy to announce his birth to!! This is one of those beautiful things God does years and years in advance to say ” yes, I told you this ahead of time so that you will know it is I speaking”. Everything God does and says is filled with so much meaning. And then, the sheperd boy was called to “the stable”!! I just loved this! I’ll be telling everyone about this story. And, yes, I am listening for our Shepherds voice, always!
    Thankyou Sharon!

  49. Theresa December 5, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    I’n listening to the shepherd voice today!!

  50. Janice December 5, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    I am listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!!!

  51. Marguerite December 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!

    • Darlene Taylor December 5, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

      I am listening for my shepherd’s voice today. That was beautiful

  52. Gwenn December 5, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    I am listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!!!

    • susan December 5, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

      I am listening for the Shepherd’s voice today.

  53. Lynn December 5, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    I am listening to the Shephard’s voice today!!

  54. Bonnie*JOY December 5, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    To hear HIS voice is to LIVE.
    To LIVE is to have opportunity to bring HIS kingdom to this earth.
    Speak LORD JESUS. We are listening.

    “The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change
    the nature of the one who prays.”

    And it does just that because we want more and more of HIM!

    Captivated by HIS Voice….Bonnie*JOY

  55. Jacqueline Cortez December 5, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    “I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!”

    Thank you for your encouraging words the Lord places in your heart daily to share with us.

  56. Amy December 5, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    I am listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!!!

  57. Ebonie Magby December 5, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    I am listening to the shepherds voice today!

  58. cheryl C. December 5, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    I’m listening today! thank you for your blog and the reminders to listen…He is always working, I pray I see Him.

  59. Angie December 5, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    I am listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I heard Him speak loudly today through your words, which literally gave me chills.

  60. Christi December 5, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!”

  61. Mary T December 5, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    I am listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!
    Sharon, what a beautiful perspective! God bless!

  62. Betty December 5, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    I am listening for the Shepards voice

  63. Cherry December 5, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    I am listening for the Shepherds voice today! I really enjoyed reading the perspective!

  64. Debra December 5, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

    I am listening to the Shepherd’s voice

  65. Priscilla Mathews December 6, 2013 at 12:56 am #

    I am listening to my Shepherd’s voice today. Thank you for so many meaningful messages!

  66. Ntyatyi December 6, 2013 at 3:43 am #

    Thank u Lord I am your sheep, You know me by name and I know Your voice Lord -I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!

    Thank you Jesus 4 those who heeded the call to the Great Commission. Bless them Father and light their paths in Jesus – the Radiance of tour Glory we worship and listen for the Shepherd’s voice today.

  67. Ntyatyi December 6, 2013 at 3:49 am #

    Edit …Your Glory (not) “tour Glory”

  68. Dorenda Speed December 6, 2013 at 4:21 am #

    I am listening to the shepherds voice,needing him to speak to me

  69. Holly December 6, 2013 at 6:00 am #

    I’m listening for my Shepards voice today!

  70. sandy coons December 6, 2013 at 6:12 am #

    I’m so grateful and humbled to be called to listen to my Shepherd’s voice. I pray to be sensitive and obedient to Him.

  71. Henrietta December 6, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    I’m listening for the shepherd ‘s voice.

  72. Stacy December 6, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    I am listening for the shepherd’s voice today

  73. Becky December 6, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    I’m listening to the Shepherd’s voice today.

  74. JoAnn December 6, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    I will listen for the voice of the Great Shepherd today.
    God Bless everyone

  75. Jean December 6, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    Im listening to a shepherds voice. May I pay close attention..

  76. CatherineKitty December 6, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    He pursues us, He loves us, He is our Shepherd, we are His sheep. He wants to have us all share our stories, for His glory. Sharon this message was just beautiful. When we are STILL (Psalm 46:10) BE STILL and know that I Am God, we can see His wonders. Be Blessed! In His Time, Kitty

  77. CatherineKitty December 6, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    “I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!” I am listening and being STILL to hear His soft still voice, everyday~~~”

  78. Jaime Bartels December 7, 2013 at 2:56 am #

    I will listen to his voice that would be a wild thing to see standing in the field. And how they just dropped everything and followed him. That,s how we should be. merry christmas

  79. Trix Botha December 7, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today

  80. Sharon Scott December 8, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    “I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!”

  81. Teresa R December 9, 2013 at 3:37 am #

    “I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!”

  82. Nancy Beneteau December 10, 2013 at 3:56 am #

    HI Sharon, Just dropping in to say hi. I’ve been overwhelmed since my sister and brother in law have moved in for a few weeks. I haven’t had a lot of time to myself for devotions and meditation. I am squeezing prayer time in but don’t have much time to keep up with blogs and posts. etc…. I do read some. I feel neglectful but my attentions need to be elsewhere. We are awaiting the arrival of my nephew who will then need surgery about a week after he is born. Because my sister lives 8 hours from the hospital the baby needs to be at, we have asked her to move in here with us until the baby arrives so we can get her there fast. We live 10 min from one of the best hospitals in the country.
    So I just want to say I enjoy your stories and devotions and hopefully in the new year I can get back to following on a more regular basis.
    I’m not only listening for the shepherd’s voice I’m clinging to him.
    God Bless you Sharon!
    Nancy

  83. Becca December 12, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    “I’m listening for the shepherd’s voice today”.

  84. Deborah December 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    I am listening for my Shepherds voice today

    • Deborah December 12, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

      I am listening for the Shepherds voice today

  85. Debbie December 15, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    Wonderful. An amazing picture was painted here. Made me cry and I’m not even sure why.
    I am listening to the Shepherds voice today.

  86. Annell December 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    Good morning, Mrs. Janyes, I love this story and the poem. I am keeping the poem to send to friends every year to remind them of what Christmas is really about. Of course, I will give you credit for the poem. I cried as I read the letter and felt a thrill in my heart. It is not easy to relinquish all to God, to Jesus, but I do. It is hard because like most humans I feel a need to control my life, but I have screwed up so much of it that I now listen to that quiet voice that is redirecting me.

    Sometimes, what I am asked to do scares the heck out of me and sometimes I don’t do what I am being directed to do, but God does not let go and keeps after me until I do it. Why? I have no idea, but after His constant nagging, I do what I am told. It is getting easier and easier, but when I have to speak to people who have already given themselves to God such as pastors, deacons, etc. I feel afraid and I put off doing what God has asked me to do. I am going through such a period right now. The pastor of my Bible Study group has told me I needed a covering. I have a vague idea what that means, but I am going to ask her to explain that term to me. One more thing, I am a professional storyteller, I am going to use your letter to Mathis as a basis for the story that is forming itself in my mind. Should I have the opportunity to tell my story, I will make sure that I tell my audience that you were the inspiration for it. I believe in giving credit where credit is due. You have been a blessing in my life through many of the blog post the you have written. Peace Be With You…

    Namaste…

  87. Jeanie Matthews February 25, 2014 at 2:28 am #

    I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today
    Sorry I’m so late responding I only just recently have access to the internet again.

  88. Cindy Montgomery February 12, 2016 at 8:43 pm #

    I’m listening for the Shepherd’s voice today!

    Hi Sharon, sorry this response is so very late but reading it today bring me back to voice to that steal voice that often don’t hear because of other race things on my mind or just life in general. I am so glad I can come back anytime and read your blog. I love reading it because it give me what I need that day or months and it is today. Thank you so much I also love the poem. God be with you and many blessing to you and your family.

    Cindy Montgomery

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