A Lesson from the Shepherds

The account of the shepherds "abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night" furnishes a helpful lesson. In all probability the attitude of the shepherds fitted them to receive the revelation of Truth which came to them. They were keepers of sheep, which our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, defines in part as "innocence; inoffensiveness" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 594). They must, then, have treasured such thoughts. They were also "abiding in the field," steadfastly fulfilling their highest sense of duty; and they were watchful. These qualities of thought must have made them receptive of the angelic message. Mrs. Eddy says in the Preface to Science and Health (p. vii), "The wakeful shepherd beholds the first faint morning beams, ere cometh the full radiance of a risen day."

But the receptivity of the shepherds, necessary as it was, was not enough. The story further shows that when "the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us." They went "with haste" and found the infant Jesus, who later on unfolded the Christ-idea to humanity. These men were not content with the beautiful message, the heavenly inspiration, which had come to them. They must find out more about it; they must see for themselves; and they must make it their own. Do we always follow their example? It is a very wonderful experience to have a glimpse of the Christ, Truth, to have some insight into spiritual reality; but we cannot rest there. We must follow up the revelation, must make it practical in our lives; and, still further, we must follow the example of these earnest seekers of old in their making "known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child."

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Man's Heritage
December 22, 1928
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