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Filthy and smelly from traipsing around the fields with sheep.

Humble and unassuming — these are not guys you would see dining at a five-star restaurant or rubbing elbows with the elite members of society.

And yet…

one dark night, God sent a multitude of the angels of heaven to announce the birth of the long-awaited Messiah to these lowly men.

They were first.

There’s something special about being first, isn’t there?

But certainly, these shepherds were not the ones most people would imagine to be first. They probably didn’t even expect to be first themselves.

And just maybe that’s why they were.

The shepherds were certainly not expecting anything special that night. They were simply minding their own business, doing their job like they had always done it.

Did you catch that? They were where they were supposed to be. Just doing their job. It wasn’t a fancy job. It wasn’t prestigious. I wouldn’t imagine the pay was that spectacular. And they certainly weren’t famous.

But they were faithful. And devoted.

What if one of them had been lazy? Eager to get out of his responsibility? A slacker?

What if he had chosen, on that night, to not be where he was supposed to be?

It’s amazing to consider what he would’ve missed out on. Talk about the opportunity of a lifetime! To be serenaded by a huge choir of angels, announcing (after four hundred years of silence from God) that the Messiah was finally here. The One Israel had hoped for…longed for…waited on for hundreds of years.

Now think about a man who wasn’t where he was supposed to be at a particular time. In the Old Testament (2 Samuel 11), King David didn’t go to war when he should have, choosing to stay home instead. Which led to him seeing a woman in a compromising position, which led to adultery, which led to murder. And all of this led to some horrific tragedies in David’s own family for many years to come. All because he wasn’t where he was supposed to be.

Are you catching the importance of being faithful right where you are? Not longing to be somewhere else. Not wishing you were in another’s shoes. Not wondering how things might be, if only…

Fellow moms, as you’re where you’re supposed to be, caring for your little flock, be encouraged that your faithful service in caring for God’s lambs is significant to Him.

Sisters in Christ, are you’re where you’re supposed to be, in any walk of life — fulfilling work responsibilities, caring for family members, serving in ministry, actively showing Christ’s love to others — be encouraged that your faithful obedience to God’s calling on your life is significant to Him.

Your job isn’t prestigious.

Except in the kingdom that matters most.

It’s not well-paid.

Except in the kind of rewards that matter most.

It’s not going to garner you fame or notoriety.

Except from the One who matters most.


How about you? I would love to hear your thoughts about the shepherds’ experience that first Christmas night. Or about how you remain faithful in your calling, in spite of the lack of worldly success or esteem. What Scriptures encourage you? Please take a moment and share your thoughts below.

Written by Jennifer Clarke

Shepherds - the last shall be first

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8 Replies to “Shepherds?!”

  1. Jo

    Excellent post dear sister. We must grow and serve where we are planted. Often we think we should be in the spotlight when we find ourselves trying to grow in the out of the way field. But we are where He desires and that is where He will have us blossom, grow and scatter seeds of faith. All for Christ.

    • Jennifer Post author

      I’m glad you found these thoughts uplifting, Mary Beth! Thank you so much for reading, and for taking the time to share. Merry Christmas, and God bless you!

  2. Brenda

    God is more then amazing. The words you wrote:
    …Are you catching the importance of being faithful right where you are? Not longing to be somewhere else….

    I often feel I am not doing enough and then take on too much. My husband gently reminds me that maybe God wants me right where I’m at. At home, being a mom and taking care of my family. Period. Isn’t that enough. The opportunity is grand and not to be taken advantage of. And I’m very grateful for it. Thank you for the reminder that it is enough and I don’t have to be more or take on more.

    I ended up at your website after reading the Proverbs 31 devotion today and then reading your comment.

    Thank you!!! God Bless and have a Merry Christmas 🙂

    • Jennifer Post author

      Hi, Brenda! Thank you so much for stopping by. I can so sympathize with your heart’s desire to care for your family, and knowing that this is good and right for you…yet still feeling at times like it’s not enough. I’m so grateful for a God who shows us throughout His Word that being faithful and obedient is what He values, no matter the size of the task in our own estimation. And I’m also grateful for our wise husbands who often keep us encouraged in the right path 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, and for stopping by! God bless you and your family!

  3. Glynnis

    I love this message of encouragement to be where we need to be, doing what we are called to do. It inspires me to be faithful in my calling even when no one is looking. Thank you for sharing this amazing message.

    • Jennifer Post author

      Glynnis, I’m so grateful to you for reading, and for taking the time to offer this kind word of encouragement. Your ministry through Proverbs 31 is such a blessing to me! Many blessings to you!


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