keeping watch

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.   Luke 2:8

Keeping watch. Some people do just that in their profession such as a night guard. Nurses watch over their patients. Teachers watch over their students. Soldiers on patrol duty keep watch to protect their fellow soldiers.

And some keep watch as part of our role in our families. Adult children keep watch over aging and weakened parents. Parents watch over their children from the day they are born.

I am blessed beyond measure to be part of my baby granddaughter’s team of caregivers who keep watch over her.

Those long-ago shepherds were out in the fields minding their own business, attentive to their duties of guiding and protecting the sheep as well as attending to their needs for water and good grazing fields. And then out of nowhere came an angel proclaiming the wondrous news!

Each year as I read the Christmas story, I am filled with joy to know that those lowly shepherds were the first to be told of the good news so they could visit Christ the King! Because it reminds me that God has a role for each of us in building His kingdom on earth. God plays no favorites. He doesn’t have a roster of only the rich, the beautiful, the powerful, the smartest, or the bravest. No, we are each important to, valued by, and loved by God. Evan Jackson wrote this profound statement:

Never discredit yourself as being unimportant to the kingdom of God.

During this season of waiting, I hope we will all be keeping watch for the ways in which we might let the light of Christ shine through us for others.