Luke 2:8-20 (NIV)
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Of all the people the angels could have visited, why did God send them to the shepherds?
This Christmas morning, I am filled with awe and wonder at what You have done for me. Out of Your great love You initiated Your plan of salvation. I have the opportunity to watch Your birth play out in the scriptures. The Shepherds were the first to hear of Jesus’s birth as they were serenaded by a host of angels. Billy Graham, believes that God chose to announce Christ’s arrival to shepherds in order to show His great love for everyone. Shepherds weren’t just humble people limited to watching over a group of sheep; Graham notes that they were looked down upon by many people. Alfred Edersheim, a Biblical scholar believed “These men who watched the sheep meant for the slaughter received a divine message about the ultimate Lamb who would take away the sins of the world through His death and resurrection.” Gabriel Powell, in a blog entry, noted announcing the good news of Christ’s coming to shepherds was to shame religious leaders at the time who were so proud of their religiosity. JB Cachila of Christianity Today adds that God chose shepherds to reveal who Christ is: the Great Shepherd. He is also the Great Shepherd of the sheep who lays His life for the sheep (John 10:11), leaves the ninety-nine to seek the lost sheep (Luke 15:1-7), the Shepherd who meets all our longings (Psalm 23), and the Great Shepherd who calls His sheep to follow Him (John 10:27). As I reflect on these words, it demonstrates how You take the darkest night, the lowest people and the hardest situations to work out Your plan. Let me not only reflect on the miracle of Jesus birth, but also to rejoice that I, a lowly and humble servant am included to play an intentional part of Your plan in this dark, and hard time in history. Things that appear to be random are actually part of Your intentional plan to share Your Grace to all people. I thank You for the gift of salvation this Christmas morning. Let me open it up and receive it with eternal joy. Amen
Quotes taken from JB Cachila, Christianity Today, December 21, 2017