Do you ever wonder what the shepherds did the day after Christmas?
Can you imagine being in the fields with them that night? The shepherds were probably young men in their late teens or early twenties. These were young men with little wealth and certainly no social standing. One dark evening the skies opened and an angel proclaimed “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11) The shepherds were rightfully scared so the angel told them to not be afraid. One angel speaking these words would do it for me, but next we read “and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’”
In your mind’s eye can you picture being one of those young men? What would you have done? They gathered together and went to find the baby. Most of our nativity or manger scenes in our homes and churches will have a shepherd. What I wonder about is - what happened next? I assume they went back to care for their sheep, but did that night change their life?
Maybe, 30 plus years later, one of those shepherds saw Jesus speaking in the Temple courts. Maybe one of those shepherds was on the road watching as Jesus carried his cross to Calvary. Maybe one of those shepherds was in the crowds when Jesus fed the 5,000. We just don’t know, but we do know they were part of history and something miraculous that first Christmas.
I remember growing up and riding in my dad’s car while he listened to Paul Harvey on the radio. I can still hear that classic radio voice announcing “the rest of the story.” We all long for the rest of the story; we want to know what happens. We do not like to leave movies when the plot does conclude with telling us that everyone lives happily ever after. Unfortunately in this life we often do not know the rest of the story. Likewise we do not know what happened to the shepherds nor will we ever while on earth.
In Christian schools too often we become overly focused on the rest of the story. We deeply desire for all of our students to commit to Christ and walk securely in their faith while being 6 years old, 11, and/or 17. The truth is that we do not know the rest of the story for each of our students, we only know the present, and more importantly we can only control the environment of the present.
So for us as a school what this means is proclaiming the gospel loud and clear, just like the angels did that first Christmas. We can declare the love of Christ and the truth of the Bible, we cannot control what the students do the next day just like we do not know how the shepherds reacted in the weeks following Christ’s birth.
At Charlotte Christian we will continue to loudly proclaim that more than 2,000 years ago a baby was born that came to save the world and He is Christ the Lord. We will also pray that this message finds root in all our students’ hearts and then one day, not on this earth, we will hear the rest of the story and how God used Charlotte Christian to prepare those students to impact the culture for Christ.
Head of School
on Friday December 19, 2014