Practicing the Better: The Shepherds

In the line of those connecting the light, life, and love of the first covenant to the second, we must not forget the shepherds.

They were the recipients of light–marvelous light–the glory of the Lord (Luke 2:9).  Their experience enlivened them to go and see for themselves what God (through another angelic visitation) had revealed to them (Luke 2:15).  Their journey to the manger was the first act of love expressed to Jesus by someone other than a family member.

Light, life, love–the practice of the better.  The story of it continues in ordinary people.  Ordinary holiness is the way of God, with everyone invited to be an instrument of God’s peace.

Mary, Luke tells us, pondered all this in her heart (2:19)–pondered the fact that ordinary people (like herself, like Joseph, and the shepherds) were God’s megaphones for announcing “good news of great joy” to the world. The practice of the better is still carried on the wings of joy by regular folks like you and me.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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