Christmas is almost here. Last minute presents are being bought. Mad dashes to the grocery store for those ingredients needed for the feast are in full force. More Christmas songs are on the radio and the excitement of it all may actually find its way into our lives – if but for just a moment.
One of my favorite parts of this time is reading the Christmas story in Luke. It is quite the story and so many things happen to introduce the birth of a little baby who was the Messiah. It seems to be an ever evolving drama and you can follow any of those in the story for a moment in their journey. Today, I am following the shepherds.
I am always amazed at how God works. He chooses to send the ultimate birth announcement to one of the lower groups in society. These people made their living by watching over sheep. I understand that Jesus will live as the Good Shepherd. He will tell stories of shepherds and sheep. He will help people to understand the importance of a shepherd. I also know King David was a shepherd. So I am sure it is no coincidence that this group of people were chosen to hear about the birth in a direct message from God. I just find it amazing how God reminds us how much he loves every person and does not rank people like we so desperately attempt. He created all humanity so all are his. And this makes each one of us special. He didn’t seek the shepherds because they were royalty. He sought them because they were willing. They would go and find the baby.
And the angel’s message to the shepherds echoes this exactly – good news of great joy for ALL. That’s right – the message was for all because Jesus came for all. This Christmas gift was not exclusive. It was not for the most devout. It wasn’t for those who felt most deserving. It was for all because Jesus is for all. God tells your average shepherds that he has come for all. That is good news of great joy indeed.
May we celebrate the gift of Christmas – remembering Jesus came for all, to spread the ultimate love. May we live in this love and share it.
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.
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