“The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.” Luke 2:16-17
What unlikely messengers – shepherds. Really?
God has a wonderful penchant to pick the most unlikely people to carry His message to others. The scriptures have abundant examples and today’s passage is one of them. We (and I speak mostly of myself here) have an idealized understanding of shepherding. However, at the time of Jesus,
“shepherds stood on the bottom rung of the Palestinian social ladder. They shared the same unenviable status as tax collectors and dung sweepers. Only Luke mentions them.
(from “Shepherd’s Status” by Randy Alcorn)
And these are the folks that God chose to share the message of the birth of the child Jesus! Right from the beginning Jesus was aligned with the less fortunate. In his ministry he often spent most of his time with those who were “sinners”, the outcasts, the lepers, those possessed and even called some of them to be apostles!
So, as we begin this New Year, let us be open to the in breaking of God into our lives. For, even though we might look upon ourselves as unlikely messengers of God, is God asking us to bring a message to others today. Let us be like the shepherds. “Do not be afraid” and go in haste to share his word to those whom we met this day.