In his sermon for Christmas Eve, our pastor, preaching on St. Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus Christ, wondered aloud what the shepherds did with their flock after they had heard the angels’ assurance of the birth of the Savior and their promise of the sign the shepherds would find swaddled in the manger. Luke’s gospel does not tell us what became of the flock of sheep.
This morning’s Office of Readings began with the Invitatory psalm—Psalm 95. The antiphon appointed for Christmas framed the psalm, proclaiming:
Christ is born for us; come, let us adore him.
Then, lo and behold, the middle of this psalm, one that begins this office of the Liturgy of the Hours every morning, shone with new light, revealing God’s answer to the wondering question of what became of the shepherds’ flock:
Come, then, let us bow down and worship
bending the knee before the LORD, our maker.
For he is our God and we are his people,
the flock he shepherds.
—Psalm 95:6–7, LH
As David, the shepherd and psalmist, reminds us, we are the flock of sheep. And so, the shepherds do not leave us on the Judean hillside, grazing in the meadow. They bring us with them to the manger. On bended knees, we gather around the manger, and worship in true wonder the One who is our Lord, our God, our Shepherd. Amen.