Luke 2:8-9 “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.”
When faced with good news, the natural inclination is to share it with those closest to us—the individuals who hold significant roles in our lives and have proven their trustworthiness over time. These are the ones who stand by us during difficult moments and genuinely rejoice in our triumphs. In the grand narrative of the Christmas story found in the book of Luke, God, too, chose to share the best news of the ages -- not with the prominent religious figures, the wealthy, or the learned, but with humble shepherds.
As the story unfolds, an angel appears to shepherds in the fields nearby the manger, sparking both awe and fear. These shepherds, amidst their flocks of sheep, possessed neither power nor influence, yet they became the recipients of the greatest truth of the ages.
The choice of shepherds for this divine revelation raises intriguing questions. One possible reason lies in the shepherds' capacity to be humbled and amazed by the honor bestowed upon them. Their genuine reaction contrasts sharply with the likely response of the religious leaders of the time, revealing a profound humility that resonated with God's purpose.
Furthermore, the shepherds, unencumbered by concerns of social standing, boldly embraced their role as messengers. Their exuberance and unfiltered joy, unmarred by self-consciousness, played a crucial role in spreading the news of the Savior's birth. Unlike reserved individuals who might overthink and stifle their excitement, the shepherds became radiant conduits of the remarkable event they had witnessed. The impact of these simple shepherds' proclamation was astounding. The news they shared left people in awe, a testament to the profound influence of genuine, unpretentious messengers delivering the most extraordinary message.
Consider why God chose the shepherds to share the news of Jesus' birth. What qualities or attitudes in the shepherds might have appealed to God? Consider how their humility impacted the spreading of the gospel.
Would Jesus entrust his good news to you? HE HAS! Tell someone about his birth, death, and resurrection. Share a recent message from Pastor Ed or story with your coworkers or a friend, much like the shepherds spread the news of Jesus' birth, you too can be a messenger to share the message of Jesus. At home, involve your family in a creative project, like making a nativity scene or writing a short story or play about the shepherds' experience, to bring the story to life and discuss its significance in a fun and engaging way.
God, thank you for trusting me like you trusted the shepherds with your good news. Thank you for sending your only Son to be born a human and die sacrificially for me. Help me to understand the impact of this decision and the consequences of sharing this news with others. In Jesus' name. Amen.