In the Christmas story the shepherds were abiding in the field keeping watch over their flocks by night. Then the angel of the Lord showed up and announced that a Savior had been born a few miles away in Bethlehem. So the shepherds hurried off to find the 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.
What about the sheep? The shepherds couldn’t herd their flocks with them all the way to Bethlehem. The Bible said they hurried off. 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 apparently 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 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.