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. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:8-20
This is my favorite part of the Christmas story. The birth of the Savior of the world was declared to…shepherds? They were the most unlikely of people to receive such a revelation! In our day, it would be like the angels proclaiming the arrival of the Messiah to some homeless folks, somewhere; declaring that the Savior had come, to a group of people that our society deems as one of “the least.” The forgotten.
But God’s love is so much bigger, and reaches farther, than any of us could possibly comprehend. We are never alone. In our darkest moments…in the depths of our loneliness…when it seems nobody cares and we are forgotten…He sees us!! And He declares His love for us!
Yes, at Christmas, we celebrate the “baby in a manger” but truly, He should be celebrated as the King of kings…The Lord of lords…the Divine who stepped down from His throne in Heaven to save…us.
His lost sheep.
Perhaps it’s not so crazy for this great declaration to come, first, to shepherds. For Jesus is the Good Shepherd (John 10:1-21).
The Rescue by Nathan Greene