DAY FIVE–A SHEPHERD WITH A PHONE
My most precious nativity scene is made of pottery, hand-crafted by North African artisans. It boasts all the usual figures, with one notable, humoristic exception: one of the shepherds is holding a phone to his ear. Yes, he is in deep conversation. What is he saying, and to whom? I can only imagine he is describing to his buddies the scene unfolding before him—the baby boy born in Bethlehem, under the shadow of the Tower of Eder, swaddled and laying in a manger, just as the glory-bearing angel had said.
What were the nativity-making artisans thinking when they cradled a phone in that clay hand? Might have they been trying to fold their own cultural spices into the scene? You see, these artisans were Muslims. Business-savvy enough to know a market niche when they saw one, they deftly crafted Christmas nativity scenes to cater to their Christian customers’ delight. While they didn’t understand the meaning of Christmas, they could add their own cultural spice to the story. They never suspected how close they were to the mark: those shepherds did, indeed, spread the news of the Incarnation far and wide. My point? Be a shepherd with a phone.
God will use anyone to spread His fame, even Muslim potters crafting a smartphone-bearing shepherd. But don’t be content with unwittingly sharing the gospel through your craft. Dare to nurture greater spiritual ambitions: become the spice of the gospel to others—intentionally. Build a legacy of hope across your horizon—be it your home, your street, your city, or the world. Let the true Potter shape you as only He can. What tool might He cradle in your clay hand? In today’s world, communications technologies are more crucial than ever. Use these tools to spread the spice of the gospel. Be a phone-toting shepherd to the glory of God.
The shepherds built a legacy by sharing their personal experience of Christmas. It is now our turn to create a fragrant legacy of delight in the glory of God. What inheritance will we build this coming year, using our phones and our hearts to spread the spice of the gospel to a clay world in dire need of good news?
Be the fifth gospel spice alongside Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John. We need the flavors from the gift-bearing wise men, the phone-wielding shepherds, and the glory-singing angels in our Christmas experience. And we need you to be the spice of the gospel in our generation using the tool God has placed in your clay hand—for His glory and our delight.
CONCLUSION-Every book and verse of Scripture is necessary for the full harmony of the song of Heaven to reach our ears. In this short reading plan, we have focused on the shepherds. But there are so many more spices to enjoy. The angels sang the Christmas news to the shepherds, their own version of a spice mix, made of notes and accords. The wise men brought much to the manger-table. We invite you to taste their unique spice mix by listening to the Christmas episodes of Season One of the Gospel Spice Podcast, which focuses on the Christmas story in the gospel of Matthew (Episodes 11, 12 and 13). The Christmas 2020 season (Episodes 63, 64, and 66) focuses on Luke’s shepherds and, yes, cell phones. After all, you will probably use yours to listen to these episodes. We also invite you to go to gospelspice.com/youversion for three more exclusive devotionals to continue your Gospel Spice Christmas journey.
About the author:
Stephanie Rousselle is the founder of Gospel Spice Ministries. Her motto is, “God’s glory, our delight!”
Born and raised in France, she grew up atheist and came to faith as a young adult. She has lived for her One over the last two decades on three continents, four countries and five cities. She is a wife and mom, podcaster, public speaker, former strategy consultant and women’s ministry director. And she is 100% French.
Stephanie thrives on Bible-centered inspirational writing and speaking, and dark chocolate. She has been teaching Scripture to thousands over the last 20 years in France, the UK, Africa and the US, and now on six continents through the . You will also find Stephanie on , and .