Of all the Christmas stories surrounding the birth narrative of Christ, my favorite is the angel’s announcement of the birth of a Savior to the shepherds (Luke 2:8-20). These lowly herders of sheep, who were on night shift, had a “who would have ever thought” type of experience. Nothing like this ever happens to ordinary people, right? Yet on this special night, God chose shepherds to be the first to hear the good news, and to be the first to see the newborn King and Savior of His people. The fact that shepherds were the ones whom God chose to send a host of angels to declare this wonderful news is a profound thing. There is something about ordinary people being blessed by an extraordinary encounter that is uplifting and encouraging. That this unexpected, serendipitous, divine interruption would come upon unclean, unlovable, undesirables truly demonstrates the undeserved grace of God. It was something that would forever change their lives as well as the course of history itself. After the shepherds heard this extraordinary wonderful heavenly news, they could no longer remain ordinary. This announcement required them to do something – to go and worship the King. Afterwards they were forever transformed and they themselves became messengers of the good news. May we learn and follow their example.
Merry Christmas, Immanuel has come!
– Dr. Gary Mathes