In the Christmas story the shepherds were abiding in the field keeping watch over their flocks by night. Then the angel showed up and broke the news that their Savior had been born. So the shepherds hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus.
“Let’s go straight to Bethlehem, then,” they said, “and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” Luke 2:15.
But where were the sheep? The shepherds couldn’t haul their flocks with them all the way to Bethlehem. Their flocks were their livelihood, their only provision for food, clothing and shelter for their families. They were “keeping watch” over them when the angel appeared. They abandoned their flocks to obey the Lord’s calling. Exposing their flocks to hungry animals and other dangers of the night.
When they returned from seeing the Christ child and Joseph and Mary, the Bible says they came home and “made known” all they had seen.
Where were the sheep? The Bible makes no mention of them on the shepherds’ return. I like to think their flocks were intact, just as they had left them. Safe. Protected from harm by the same God who visited the shepherds in the countryside.
Isn’t that just like God? Calling us to serve Him and taking care of every little detail for us.