And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
Posture. When hearing the word, the tendency is to think of a Puritan schoolhouse with a teacher wrapping knuckles for sitting up straight. It is a word with negative connotations in the minds of most. However, it serves as the key word in understanding the significance of the shepherds during that night of God’s incarnation.
Though we focus on the journey to the cross during the season of Lent, these shepherds of the advent give us a deep instruction in what the preparation of our hearts looks like in coming to the cross. Hebrew shepherds were no slouches. As we are told, they were keeping watching over their flock by night. They were the young, vigorous, and immensely humble of Hebrew society. The stories of David remind us that shepherds lived and acted sacrificially to no great gain on their part (David wrestled with lions yet remained last in the mind of the prophet Samuel).
The season of Lent calls us to assume a shepherd’s posture. We are interruptible, ready to run to see and worship Christ in the very moments when He is stripped of splendor—at birth and on the cross. During Lent we place ourselves in this humble posture, reminded that it is a life of submission and preparedness to which we are called. ~Ben Gibson