And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.Luke 2:8
What do gas station clerks, fast food employees, doctors, nurses, pastors and more have in common?
Having to work on Christmas.
Not all of them, and maybe not all the time, but even when everything else is closed, Quick Trip stays open. The church has its services. At least a few drive-thrus will be functioning. Hospitals will keep running. Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean everything shuts down.
The shepherds were no exception. On that first Christmas Eve, of course, there was no holiday established, no special time with family. It was just another workday for them. Out in the fields, minding the sheep. But it occurs to me that the first people to hear the Good News were the folks who were working.
Speaking of minding the sheep, do you think those shepherds minded keeping those strange hours? I imagine they were used to it. For lots of workers, the holiday has to be squeezed in around work hours. That’s just the way it is. Of course, those who aren’t Christians probably might not care at all. And those shepherds out in the fields? They weren’t Christians, yet.
Christmas workers? They probably have stories they can tell. Not about angels, necessarily, but still… gestures of goodwill, big tips, grateful patrons and patients. The joy of watching excited children. It doesn’t always happen, but Christmas can bring about miracles, even while on the job.
Work took an unexpected turn for those shepherds, a reason to take a Quick Trip and see what all the fuss was about. My hope is that all Christmas workers, Christian or not, catch a whiff of something special in the air, and see this evening and day as something special, magical, holy.
This year I’ll be traveling on Christmas Day. I’ll be sure to pay extra attention to those who are on the job and share my thanks for their holiday sacrifice. I doubt I’ll run into any angels or shepherds, but for those I see I’ll say a prayer that their Christmas
means more to them than just