Daily Worship

Reflection Day 18

December 18, 2016 0 1

Luke 2: 8-12

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Country folk know that there’s no devotion quite like the shepherd and his/her sheep.  James Rebanks – a Cumbrian farmer - has become an internet sensation for his daily tweets on the shepherd’s life, such as “There is no smile quite like the smile of a sheep given their breakfast... “

Look at the stance of the shepherd in today’s picture. He’s been painted by a Dutchman 233 years ago, but it might be yesterday in Perthshire. He’s out in the weather, dog at his side, studying the flock while it grazes. He’s looking for things that might be wrong, missing sheep or how this year’s lambs are coming on. He’s not ‘chilling out’ or ‘taking five’, he may be leaning against the gate, but he’s alert, focused and processing information. A good person then, to give an important message to.   

Can you imagine this scene as an evening near Bethlehem? Nothing seems to be happening, the sky is settled, the weather clear, the sheep are munching, all is peaceful. Then suddenly the sky is lit with the glory of God. Does the dog start barking? Does the shepherd take to his heels? You bet!

Lent Disciplines


Lord I praise your name, as creator of this world – in all its complexity.
You are too great for my mind to take in, and given the shepherds’ experience on that Bethlehem night, 
I too would be terrified.
Yet I thank you for coming; for showing us that it was so important to express your love
that it was worth a bit of shock and awe !
You are truly an awesome God and the rich variety of life on earth shows us that every day.
It’s good to see you at work in the countryside with its crops and animals.
It’s good to see you in the kindness of strangers and friends.
It’s good to listen for your word of encouragement or guidance to me –
your greatness speaking to my smallness – awesome!
Help me to be alert and focused, as a Christian.
Give me the thoughtfulness to be ready to share the good news of Jesus
with the people I live alongside
or the strangers I might meet 
so that they might unexpectedly glimpse the glory of God.