“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them. . . . So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.” (Luke 14:8,9,16)
Merry Christmas! The King is born!
Out of all of the people on earth God could have sent His angels to, to announce the birth of His son, He sent them to the shepherds. I was recently reading a children’s version of the Christmas story and it described the shepherds having one of the lowest forms of employment. In the class system, the shepherds were pretty close to the bottom in the level of respect they received for their work.
It also described them as not the cleanest people. We forget that luxuries like a shower after a day working out in the fields was not commonplace. Let’s be honest–these men likely smelled a lot like the sheep they were tending! They were covered in dust and grime, and they probably didn’t have clean laundry very often.
Yet, these were the men who God sent His angels to announce the King! And imagine for a moment if there had been room in one of the many inns for Mary and Joseph. Do you think the shepherds would have been warmly greeted and escorted into the room where Mary held her warm baby in fancy linens? Not likely. They would have been turned away by the owners of the inns or the doormen. The higher class of people may have even questions the intent and motivation of these shepherds visiting a baby boy.
But God placed His son in a manger, surrounded by animals and weather. Whether He was born in a barn, an out building, a cave, stable, sukkah, or an awning off the back of the inn isn’t really important. What is vital for us to remember is that Jesus, God’s Son, was fully accessible to the lowliest of people from the time He entered the world. No one was told, “You cannot see the baby. You are not good enough. You need to bath first and change clothes. Then you can make an appointment.”
As we celebrate the birth of this child, God’s son, remember that Christmas is a time to go before Him. It doesn’t matter if your life is a bit smelly like the shepherds, it doesn’t matter if you have a job or not, if the world sees you as successful or not. None of it matters. All that matters is that God sent His Son for you. There is nothing in your life, or in you, that makes Jesus not available to you. He is fully here–for you. He is just waiting for you to accept His gift.
Prayer: God, thank You for sending Your Son as a gift to me. Thank You for making Him completely available to me, no matter what I have or have not done. Help me accept Your gift fully and feel the peace that will pass all of my understanding through Your gift.
May you have a blessed Merry Christmas.
About the Author:
Lisa Copen is an author, speaker, and the founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill. She lives in San Diego with her husband and 8-year-old son. She is currently writing a book for Christian moms who live with chronic illness. If you are interested in sharing your stories, feedback and confessions for the book, visit her Facebook page at http://MomWithIllness.com .
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How does it make you feel when you see how God worked out “the last shall be first” even from the beginning of His Son’s birth?