"I bring you good news..." Luke 2:10
We are inundated every day with bad news locally, politically, financially, socially, etc. People have become hardened to the constant bombardment of the negativity of this world. Despotism, random killings, plagues, natural disasters, brutality of every kind, corruption, etc., have numbed us to the awful effects of such events. Most people long for just a little good news from somewhere. It was no different in Jesus' day. Their world was dominated by Roman rule, scandalous military regimes, prejudice, sickness, and all the maladies we face today.
Then... into history came an angelic visit to a small insignificant group of shepherds outside one of the bedroom communities to Jerusalem. Shepherds, some of the lowest 'class' of people in their time, given a serendipitous angelic visit. And this was no ordinary angelic visit either. It included an entire army of angels - countless messengers proclaiming the good news of Jesus' birth, offering praise to God through the chorus:
Glory to God in the highest
And on earth peace
Among men with whom He is pleased.
What a peculiar event: announcing what was heaven's headline news to a bunch of sheep herders. People of that day didn't care what shepherds thought; they had no political sway or social influence. So, why bring the news to these guys? Why them? Why not appear before the world's rulers, or the socially elite, or the 'VIP's' of their day?
Maybe, just maybe, God not only chose to visit the shepherds, but to preserve the occasion in His Word so that we might know that there is no one on earth He views as insignificant, unimportant, disposable, or inconsequential. Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever think your life has no impact, no real influence, no importance? You matter to God. You do! And though you may not have had a recent chorus of angels surrounding you with good news, God wants to delight you with the good news of His love, the sufficient power of His grace, and the eternal joy of His hope. Such bestowments should incite our hearts to worship Him. can you worship Him with the same enthusiasm that the angelic host modeled with "glory to God in the highest"? If heaven is moved to worship with such passion, shouldn't we as God's earthly creation mirror the same?
There may be another reason why the shepherds were honored with the angelic visit. Have you ever noticed that God's heroes were shepherds. Able, Abraham, Lot, Isaac, David, and Amos were all tenders of sheep. There is a special place in God's heart for the shepherd. Even the description of the Messiah from the prophet Isaiah used the imagery of a shepherd:
He tends His flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them close to His heart;
He gently leads those that have young.
As you celebrate Christmas with family and friends, thank God with me that He chose to preserve this good news for us today.
May you experience the blessing of Christmas,