During Advent, we are featuring devotionals written by clergy of the Greater NJ Annual Conference of the UMC. For this fourth week, we are focused on reflections related to the shepherds, based on the Gospel of Luke.

Luke 2:8-20 (CEB)

Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified.

10 The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. 11 Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. 12 This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, 14 “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.”

15 When the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go right now to Bethlehem and see what’s happened. Let’s confirm what the Lord has revealed to us.” 16 They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they reported what they had been told about this child. 18 Everyone who heard it was amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 Mary committed these things to memory and considered them carefully. 20 The shepherds returned home, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. Everything happened just as they had been told.


I was just minding my business
When you showed up.
And told me that thing, that scary thing.
You told me that scary thing
But you told me not to be afraid.
You told me it was good.

I was just minding my business
And you came along
And told me that scary thing
But you said it was good
So I had to see for myself
What it was all about

One moment, I was just minding my business
The next I was hurrying off
And it was just like you said
I wouldn’t have known
If I hadn’t gone to see for myself

And if I had seen it for myself
(The thing that you said)
But you hadn’t showed up
You hadn’t told me the scary thing
And you hadn’t told me it was good
I wouldn’t have known

If I had just seen it for myself
(In the regular course of things)
It would have been – unremarkable.
But you did show up
When I was minding my business.
You told me the scary good thing.
And I saw for myself.
And it was like you said.

And now I can’t mind my business.
Now I have to go
Where other people are minding their business
And tell them the good thing
And they might be scared too
But I will tell them not to be afraid
And they will choose – to see for themselves
(or not)

And soon all will know.
And soon no one will be able to just mind their business.
Because the scary good thing is for all of us.
He is here for all of us.

By the Rev. Emily Wilton

For Pondering & Prayer

How are you being called to a life of “no more minding your business”? Are there people you know who would benefit from you sharing the story of how you’ve encountered Jesus in your own life?