The Shepherd’s Journey

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I wonder how the shepherds announced themselves when they arrived outside the place where Jesus had been born. Was their arrival in the night as loud and surprising as the angel’s had been? I wonder if they barged right in or did they “hallooo” from the street? Maybe they approached with reverential trepidation, quiet and wide-eyed. I wonder how many of them there were, and what were their names. Was it at all unwelcome for Mary to receive male visitors so shortly after giving birth? I wonder if the arrival of visitors made Mary and Joseph embarrassed by their impoverished surroundings and did they self-consciously second-guess their decision to use the manger as a crib? Was the baby asleep when the shepherds arrived? Or nursing? Were the shepherds shushed by Mary as they launched into their tale of what they had seen and heard up in the hills? Did they whisper the news?

The Bible doesn’t provide answers for these kinds of questions. God’s Word tells us all that we need to know, but it does not always tell us everything that we’d like to know. God provides us with other details because, I assume, they must be what we need most to see. So, although we may not be able to satisfy our curiosity about many of the details surrounding this evocative chapter in the Christmas story there still remains plenty for us to chew on as we study Luke 2:8-20 together.