In a few days the greatest event that has rocked this world occurred–Jesus, our Savior and Messiah, was born. Of special note today, is that of all the people that announced His birth, a birth that had been anticipated for literally centuries and centuries, it was a group of shepherds that were visited by angels, not the powerful, not kings, not the religious authorities of the day.
God chose shepherds. Among the occupations, shepherding were pretty low on the totem pole when it came to prestige. They were often outcasts, not allowed in the city and not trusted by the general public, for often they were thieves. Shepherds were despised by “good people”. They were often unable to keep the details of the ceremonial law; they could not observe all the many hand washing’s and rules and regulations. Their flocks made constant demands on them; and so the religious authorities and the people often looked down on them. It was to simple men of the fields that God’s message first came.
Here is what is important for us to understand: “The good news about Jesus is that he comes to all types of people, including the plain, the ordinary, and the outcasts of society. He comes to anyone with a heart humble enough to accept him. Whoever you are, whatever you do, you can have Jesus in your life. Don’t think that you need extraordinary qualifications–Jesus accepts you as you are.” (1)
Luke 2:8-14 (ESV)
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
May you realize that Jesus accepts you and wants you to come to Him as you are. May His heart join your heart and may you find the blessedness of living a life in relationship with our Savior, our Messiah and our creator.
(1) Bruce B. Barton, David Veerman, Linda Chaffee Taylor and Grant R. Osborne, LAB Commentary, Luke
~~By Jan Puterbaugh, associate pastor