Once again, we see a time when God came to regular, everyday, blue collar people with whom He shared His message. To me, it’s interesting that God chose shepherds as one of the first groups of people not named Mary & Joseph to bring to the birth scene.
I think about the birth of both of my boys, and the first people we made sure came to see them were the grandparents, aunts and uncles, some close friends, and our beloved First Pres pastors. I think it would have been strange for us to have gone down to, let’s say, the local public works people (which would have been Bolingbrook & New Lenox respectively) to come see them first. Like, hey, you men and women do an important job for this town, come and see this new child that has been born. That would have just been weird.
But God has a different way of doing things. He does extraordinary things through ordinary people. And he reveals his message to and through the same ordinary people. To add further, the people that the angels went to were shepherds, who were charged with keeping their flocks safe from the dangers of the world. Later, in Jesus’ ministry, he used the imagery of shepherds caring for their flocks as parables on more than one occasion. For example, see John 10:27. Just like shepherds knew each and every member of their flock and their flocks knew the shepherd’s voice, the same is true for our relationship with God.
So the calling on ordinary people is important, but there is one more important part of this story. Not only the calling, but also the response. The shepherds could have responded by saying something like “man, we really need to lay off the wine.” The could have just ignored the whole thing and gone about their day (or night) and not gone to Bethlehem. Instead, their response was “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
In the same way, God calls on us to be His witnesses. We always have two choices. Go on with our lives and ignore the call. Or we can “Go and see.” My prayer for all of us is that we recognize the call and respond with “Let us go and see this thing that has happened.”
Merry Christmas to all of you.