READ: Luke 2: 8-18
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Luke 2:10 (NIV)
Each time I hear or read the Christmas Story as recorded by Luke, a desire arises within me. How I wish I could have been one of the shepherds on the night that our Lord was born. Have you ever wondered why simple shepherds without wealth, power, or social position were the first to receive heaven’s glorious message?
Why not the rulers and/or business leaders of that day? It is true that no doubt it was after business hours but couldn’t a special meeting be arranged to announced the news? However, Scripture does not record any attempt to arrange such a conference.
What about the Pharisees and other religious leaders? Surely they were entitled to be informed. But what would they have done with the message? One can almost visualize them debating the pros and cons of whether the announcement was in conformance with all the Scriptures. No doubt their debate would have been long and arduous and if they did decide to examine the scene of the event, I am confident that unlike the shepherds they would approach in a dignified manner and not at all in a hurried pace! Further, no doubt when they finally did arrive, they would have numerous questions for the infant’s parents.
Perhaps the humble shepherds were chosen to receive the angel’s message because God wanted His Son to be associated with the seemingly unimportant people of the world rather than the proud and wealthy. Also God knew that these lowly shepherds would receive His news of salvation with open hearts and would return to their homes with great joy and share with others what they had heard and seen that night!
Obviously, the opportunity for us to join the early shepherds on their initial quest is impossible but each of us still has the opportunity to approach His throne through faith and to share with others this event. Although we did miss the First Advent, we can allow the Holy Spirit to prepare us for the Second. Amen