Notice God's unutterable waste of saints, according to the judgment of the world. God plants His saints in the most useless places. We say - God intends me to be here because I am so useful. Jesus never estimated His life along the line of the greatest use. God puts His saints where they will glorify Him, and we are no judges at all of where that is. ~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, August 10
Monday, December 13, 2010
Third Sunday of Advent: The Shepherds' Candle
While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
all seated on the ground;
the angel of the Lord came down,
and glory shone around,
and glory shone around. (Nahum Tate, 1652-1715)
This is a picture of my great grandfather, Elias Sandoval, who was a shepherd.
I wonder why God chose to reveal himself to these men of this profession that holy night.Why didn't the angel go to an office where accountants were burning the oil?Why didn't the angel go to a group of school children camping out under the stars?Why didn't the angel go to the government building and reveal the good tidings to the lawmakers in the land? Why didn't the angel go to where the priests toiled over the scrolls, examining the Law of Moses?
I don't know, but I think maybe Jesus has a special affinity for shepherds.
In this act of revealing Himself to shepherds abiding in a field, the Lord showed us that He honors the common man, the hard-working soul who daily puts his hand to the task and doesn't get proper recognition. I think that God likes to honor those who don't get honor for themselves--fishermen, tax collectors, beggars, carpenters, an insignificant young virgin, innkeepers with too many guests, a widow living in the temple and, of course, shepherds.
Jesus chooses these. Well, that has to be the best tidings of the greatest joy I can imagine! For the person whom no one notices to be chosen to be visited by a multitude of heavenly hosts and to see God wrapped in flesh and lying in a manger.....
"Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:8-11
[Note from my great Uncle Ernest, who at 86 is an avid Facebooker: Thank you. I didn't even know this picture existed. I too herded sheep with Dad at about when I was 13 yrs old. This pic was taken around 1946. We were digging a cellar under the house.]