The Night Everything Changed

Author: Carol Raj — Host: Dylan KraayenbrinkPosted on: December 24, 2023

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
The Night Everything Changed

READ: GENESIS 4:2-5; EXODUS 3:1-4; 1 SAMUEL 16:11-13; LUKE 2:8-20

Shepherds couldn’t even testify in a court of law. That’s how much people looked down on us. They assumed we were liars. I hated that. Not to mention we were too dirty and “unclean” to enter the temple because we cared for animals, dealing with their manure and blood. But even worse was how people avoided me. They seemed to forget everyone needed lambs for the temple sacrifices. And sheep need to be led and protected. They sometimes do incredibly stupid things.

Whenever I complained, my older brother reminded me of our ancestors. “Remember Abel and Moses? They kept sheep. So did Jacob. And David was a shepherd before he was king.” Try telling that to the townspeople who held their noses when I passed by!

Then one night, everything changed. We were out in the fields tending our flocks when suddenly a bright light split open the night sky. I froze. Some of the other shepherds fell to the ground in fear. My brother trembled as he drew me close. “An angel,” he whispered.

Then the angel spoke: “Don’t be afraid!” How was that even possible? My knees couldn’t stop shaking. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.” All people? Even shepherds? Even me? Suddenly, a whole multitude of angels appeared. They were singing, “Glory to God in highest heaven.” Then the angels disappeared as quickly as they’d come. But they’d given us instructions. Where to go. What to look for.

“Hurry!” my brother took hold of my arm. “We’ve got to go to Bethlehem.” I protested, “But what about the sheep? Won’t they be in danger?” He shook his head. “If God tells us to go, we need to go. He can protect our sheep until we get back. The Messiah is here!” • Carol Raj

• This story is how one author imagines what it might’ve been like for the shepherds in Luke 2:8-20. Jesus, the Savior of the world and bringer of peace, came for all people—including those society casts out. What can this Bible passage reveal about who God is and how He sees us?

• Like the shepherds might’ve worried about leaving the sheep, we can often fall into believing our responsibilities matter more than resting in the good news of Jesus’s love and forgiveness that He’s given us through His death and resurrection. God gives us opportunities to experience His vast love for us, but we’re often tempted to prioritize other things. What might those things be for you? Consider taking a moment to pray about whatever comes to mind. You can rely on the Holy Spirit to help you surrender all these things to God and receive what He has for you.

“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:14 (NLT)