I can only imagine what sort of wonder filled the hearts of those shepherds after that awesome sight in the fields beyond Bethlehem. Without wasting a lot of time debating the possible meanings, implications and interpretations, they headed on into town and found the very thing they angels had announced to them. Must have been quite the conversation later that night as they headed back out to their fields and for quite a while after that. I’m pretty sure it was some time before things truly returned to normal for them, if they ever did.
Might be that even the sheep noticed something different, some lingering sign of glory and wonder in the way the shepherds walked and talked, even the way they tended sheep. The view of thousands of angels proclaiming good news has a way of changing dudes, I’d imagine. At least for a while.
We remember them as the shepherds who saw a bunch of angels, found a baby in a feed trough and announced heaven’s own testimony that this was the promised Lamb of God. I bet the sheep remember them as the keepers who watched over them, led them beside still waters and into green pastures and kept them safe from their enemies. I think it’s absolutely perfect that the birth of The Good Shepherd was first proclaimed to men of such lowly estate who knew the importance of the ordinary.
And I think it would also be pretty neat if those we love remember us as people who celebrated the wonderful events but spent most of our time doing what needed to be done, accepted the ordinary of our lives as extraordinary opportunities to love, give, watch over and watch out for them and honored the birth of the Messiah by loving those that he loved.
And will one day witness a celestial event even more glorious than his humble birth. No matter what field we happen to be in at the time.