Handling Holy Interruptions

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Merry Christmas Eve, Mamas

The shepherds in the fields near Bethlehem were doing what shepherds do, protecting the sheep in their care. On this particular night they were staying out in the fields with them. As far as we know, this night seemed like any other night at work.

A shepherd plays a pipe while caring for his sheep in the Jordan Valley, c. 1920s.
A shepherd plays a pipe while caring for his sheep in the Jordan Valley, c. 1920s. Courtesy Library of Congress.

It is obvious from the shepherds’ reactions that they weren’t expecting an angel of the Lord suddenly to appear or to see the glory of the Lord shining around them or to be the first to hear the best news anyone on earth had ever heard. After those surprises, they even saw a multitude of the heavenly host praising God.

As we discussed recently, the angel calmed the shepherds’ first reaction to their first holy interruption, which was to be terribly frightened. However, after they learned why they had been interrupted, the shepherds decided to leave their job responsibilities and go see for themselves “this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us” (Luke 2:15).

Then, after seeing the Baby in the manger:

The shepherds went back,
glorifying and praising God
for all that they had heard and seen,
just as had been told them.
Luke 2:20

God sends each of us holy interruptions. A key to a peaceful Christian life is learning how to handle those interruptions like those humble shepherds did — the interruptions that are time-consuming, the ones that are terribly frightening, and the ones that bring us great joy.

If your Christmas week has been like mine, it has brought one holy interruption after another—and God has brought wonderful blessings in each one of them.

The Lord’s acts of mercy indeed do not end,
For His compassions do not fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

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