And the angel said to them [the shepherds], “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord…” --Luke 2:10-11
Of all the people in the world that God could’ve chosen to reveal the birth of Jesus to, he chose a group of cold, tired shepherds on the graveyard shift. These shepherds had the societal respect and economic power of a group of fast-food workers. Their reputation was as solid as that of a used-car salesman or a personal injury attorney. They smelled like the gentleman who takes your garbage. Of all the people in the world for angels to seek out and have the privilege to announce the arrival of the Savior, he chooses the lowliest of all—shepherds.
When we are all enjoying eternal life in heaven, I’d like to seek these shepherds out and ask them to tell me more about that first Christmas night… but first I’ll have to ask around and find out what their names are; the names of the shepherds are not even recorded in the Scriptures.
Yet it may be that the shepherds’ names are withheld because we are to see ourselves in the account of the shepherds. The shepherds were nobodies and (I say this respectfully), so are you. So am I.
None of us set fashion trends. None of us command armies. None of us has international fame. None of us rule nations or have our faces on currency. Yet, just as the Gospel came to the shepherds, so the Gospel comes just as fully to you.
God himself is born in Bethlehem as a baby. God himself lived under the law. God himself suffered death on your behalf. God himself rose from the dead and defeated death. God forgives you. God purifies you. God gives life eternal to you. Jesus makes you a son or daughter of the Kingdom and he shares his eternal reign with you.
The angel tells the shepherds that Jesus is born “to you.” You is plural in the Greek. Jesus is born to the shepherds and to more—Jesus is born to you (you who are reading these words) as well.
Jesus saves you. Jesus forgives you. Jesus loves you—as lowly as you are, Jesus’ love for you has no bounds.
Jesus is born for you and he is born for all. The young and the old, the rich and the poor, the healthy and the sick—people of every race, tribe, people, and language have the hope of forgiveness, life, and salvation.
Through Jesus, we have good news. Through Jesus we have great joy. Through Jesus, we are saved. Amen.
Most merciful God, You gave Your eternal Word to become incarnate of the pure Virgin. Grant Your people grace to put away all sin, that they may be ready for Your visitation, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen