The high profile of shepherds in the Christmas story warms our hearts because if the shepherds were some of the first people God told about the birth of his Son – not kings, not the rich and famous, not priests, but simple, stinky shepherds – then we know that the Savior has been born for each of us.
Jesus comes to messes and misfits, to cold nights of loneliness and hopelessness, to people stuck in jobs and separated from family, to ordinary people in everyday circumstances.
Jesus comes to you. And all of heaven announces his birth to you and rejoices when you believe. And when you rejoice, like the shepherds. “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen” (Luke 2:20).
On their return from the manger to the Monday morning feel of back to work, they told the townsfolk all about the birth of Jesus. “And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them” (Luke 2:18). God had upgraded his spokesperson strategy from angels to shepherds. Yes, upgraded.
People are attentive to and amazed at ordinary, everyday words more than an angel’s words because people relate to ordinary, everyday stories like yours (sometimes with a hint of spectacular).
So don’t wait for an angel to swoop down from the heavens this Christmas and fill the lunch break room or living room or apartment lobby or chat room with oohs and ahs.
There’s an underlying theme of simplicity to Christmas. Some shepherds. A poor, young girl. A sleepy little town. A manger. A baby. God wants you to know that being right with him and ready for life is not complicated.
Praise God for it. Share it.
PRAYER: Thank you, great and awesome God, for becoming small and ordinary. For entering my world, my fears and guilt, my loneliness and confusion. Like the shepherds, I praise and thank you for saving me, loving me and giving me Jesus. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Spend time meditating with music today, sing in your soul (or out loud) the Christmas hymn “Where Shepherds Lately Knelt” performed by Koine https://youtu.be/GAps5NIJNPY.