December 14th–The Sheep
57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. 60 But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.” 61 They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.” (Lk. 1:57-61)
Reflection (Bob Dahm):
Hi there! I’m a sheep, and I live in a stable in Jerusalem. The shepherd brought me in here because I got hurt when I was out with the rest of the flock… and because I was scared. Anyway, there I am, hurt and in pain, in the middle of the night, when two people barge into my stable– and one of them was pregnant! My peaceful quiet home was now a maternity ward!
As soon as she sat down, the woman started giving birth. I watched her baby being born, and it truly was a beautiful sight. The woman labored for so long, and it seemed like such hard work– it must’ve hurt. I felt sorry for her. And the husband was so worried– but he took good care of her. I started to like the two– I felt a strong connection. I felt like we shared something.
We were all hurting, and scared.
All of the sudden, these shepherds showed up. I thought they came to get me, but they only wanted to see the baby. Even more travelers came to my stable– just to see the baby! I didn’t understand. How did they know he was here? Why did they care? I just couldn’t fathom why my rest and recovery were being interrupted for this baby.
When the crowd started to die down, I took a long look at the baby. There was something very special about him, and his parents too. There was a presence to them that was undeniable. Suddenly, the skies were filled with angels singing! They proclaimed this baby to be… what did they call it? The “Messiah”?
I don’t really know what a Messiah is. Or why two people decided to give birth in a stable. I don’t understand what any of this means, but I find myself filled with joy.
What have you lost that Jesus can bring?
God of divine interruption, bring us the weight of your comfort in our sleepless nights. Bring us joy when we are filled with anger, confusion, and pain. And keep our eyes open, that we might see you when you come. In Jesus’ name, Amen.