I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Monday, December 19, 2011

A lowly Shepherd

I have a lot of respect for church members who volunteer to take fifty kids, aged kindergarten through fifth grade, and turn them into a memorable Christmas pageant each year. In our church, the kindergarteners were always cast as the sheep, and the second through fifth graders got to be the angel choir, meaning, first grade was the big year.

The first graders got to be the wise men, shepherds, Joseph, and…Mary. And I was ready for my big debut. I could cradle a doll and lay him in the manger. The white robe and blue headdress would certainly fit me. But then the cast was announced.

A shepherd? There must be some mistake. A drab brown robe and staff? Standing far from baby Jesus, in the midst of the kindergarteners, aka, sheep?

I was heartbroken. I’d never get to be Mary. Never debut as the starring role in our Christmas story. When my mom picked me up that day, she could see the disappointment on my face. I didn’t want to tell her. At least there were only three wise men. Shepherds were the leftover kids. A shepherd was a nobody.

Tears spilled over as I finally confessed.

I’ll never forget what my mom said to me that day. She reminded me God chose to announce his Son’s coming to shepherds – just like God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus. Each cast member was specifically chosen, specifically cast in the Christmas story, by God Himself.

She reminded me nobody was unimportant to God. Certainly not the shepherds, some of the very people Jesus came to save, some of the very first people who had the privilege of worshipping Him face-to-face.

As Christmas approaches and you reflect on the Christmas story this year, remember God has chosen and cast you for a specific role in His Story. He has chosen you to write the story on your heart. Even if your novel is never the “Mary” of published Christian fiction, there is no shame in being a faithful shepherd, either. Nobody, and no story, is unimportant to God.

Merry Christmas,

Amy

20 comments:

  1. Oh, how your post brought a smile to my face, Amy.
    Your mom is a very wise woman.
    And the way you applied it to our writing lives? I can see that you're a lot like your mom.

    And, yes, I remember being an angel in my elementary school play too ... I was the one who miss my cue and was still standing when everyone else knelt down. But, hey, God loves the angels who miss their cues too.
    :O)

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  2. What a precious story, Amy!! The shepherds were the first ones to learn of the baby's birth. I love your reminder that no one us are nobodies. God loves each one of us unconditionally and as if we were his favorite one!

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  3. What a sweet story. And your mom was a very wise woman. Thank you for a reminder that God has chosen us to wrote the story of our heart. I especially needed that this week.

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  4. Amy, I loved your story! Your mother laid a great foundation for you as you enter motherhood. resonated with your story. We did A Charlie Brown Christmas one year at school. I was in the choir, so disappointed not to have a speaking part. God helped me work through that disappointment. :)

    The way you equated this story to our writing lives really encouraged me. Thank you or sharing your beautiful insights!

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  5. Oh Beth, I bet you were an adorable angel! I'm so glad God doesn't mind when we miss our cues sometimes.

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  6. LJ, I love that we are each God's very favorite one. It's something I love hearing, and I'm so glad God gave me the opportunity to be a shepherd that year. Clearly, I learned so much more than I would have if I would have been Mary!

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  7. Pat, I'm so thankful God used this post to remind you that He has chosen YOU to write the story on your heart. Blessings to you, this week, my friend!

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  8. Jeanne, isn't God so good to each of us? I'm glad you were encouraged. Merry Christmas, my friend!

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  9. I "missed" my cue.
    Sigh.
    I say I don't edit comments ... but the TEE in me can't resist editing mine.
    ;o)

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  10. What a sweet post, Amy! But if I were casting the parts, I would have definitely given a cute little blond girl like you the role of Mary or at least one of the angels . . . But then you wouldn't have had this story to write about. Thanks for the reminder that God chose you and me and each of us!

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  11. Love, love, love! Especially this: "Nobody, and no story, is unimportant to God."

    What an encouragement, Ames!

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  12. TEE, I had to spell check kindergarteners like four times. I just didn't believe spell check.

    You are too funny!

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  13. Thanks, Roxanne. We actually had a little red-headed Mary that year. She was also the first grade Sunday school teacher's daughter (a very early lesson of "it's all about who you know, too!") but...no hard feelings. I was the best little shepherd you ever did see!

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  14. Thanks, M-Tagg! I always have a special place in my heart for the little pageant shepherds each year!

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  15. Love this, Amy! It's a great reminder for those of us who excel at blending in. Every voice is important.

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  16. Excellent, Amy, & I can relate as I'm spending 2-3 day weekends w/ my youngest grands now & loving it. Just think, it won't be long before you can guide your cherished sprout through this same life process. Glad for you :)

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  17. Thanks, Brenda! And you do NOT excel at blending in. You are a wonderful friend to me, and such an encouragement. I can't wait to see the directions God leads you!

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  18. Dee, aren't the little ones so much fun to be around at Christmas? We are celebrating with my 8 year old niece, 6 and 2 year old nephews. I can't wait to see Christmas again through their eyes.

    I can't wait until next year when we can celebrate with Baby Sprout. I hope I will have such wise words for her when they are needed!

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  19. Amy-

    Thank you. Loved your post!

    I'm with Jeanne in the choir...never made it to the ranks of the shepherds. :)

    The benefit of a few years perspective sure sheds a different light on many of the things that happen to us--and the reasons.

    Your mother sounds wonderful.

    Merry Christmas!

    Julie

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  20. Thanks, Julie! I was definitely in the choir too. Perspective is really great years later, we just have to remember to reflect back.

    I'll let my mom know you think she's great, I do too!

    Merry Christmas!

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