Meridian Star

December 28, 2013

From the Shepherd’s Heart

By Dr. John A. Temple / guest columnist
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     “And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.” — Luke 2: 16

Why did the shepherds come with haste? In our day and time, they would have set their own schedule. For us, time is so precious that we feel affronted by someone demanding our schedule to adjust.

    The shepherds dropped what they were doing and searched for this baby. To come with haste meant an immediate change of plans.

    Sheep, bedded down for the night, had to be moved. Can you hear the disturbance in the neighborhoods of Bethlehem as this parade of sheep and shepherds come through town on their mission?

    One reason the shepherds may have made haste was their excitement about the news. The sheer dynamics of the angels appearing would have made me move. But, their message was even more exciting.

    The Messiah was being born in their little town. Without realizing it, they could be the first to see God in flesh, if they would hurry.

    Another reason the shepherds may have made haste was their curiosity about this event. They didn’t understand all the theology behind the event. They worked from the information they had. All that was needed was an announcement from heaven. Seeing for themselves was enough to satisfy what they could not explain.

    Regardless of the reason, haste was a wise choice. Some things do not need to be missed and the birth of a Savior is one of them. A lesson is noted; when God offers you a blessing, responding with haste is what He expects.

    Dr. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, located at 4032 Poplar Springs Drive in Meridian. Visit the church website online at www.