Luke 2:8-17 (CEV)
8 That night in the fields near Bethlehem some shepherds were guarding their sheep. 9 All at once an angel came down to them from the Lord, and the brightness of the Lord’s glory flashed around them. The shepherds were frightened. 10 But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. 11 This very day in King David’s hometown a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. 12 You will know who he is, because you will find him dressed in baby clothes and lying on a bed of hay.”
13 Suddenly many other angels came down from heaven and joined in praising God. They said:
14 “Praise God in heaven!
Peace on earth to everyone
who pleases God.”
15 After the angels had left and gone back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see what the Lord has told us about.” 16 They hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and they saw the baby lying on a bed of hay.
17 When the shepherds saw Jesus, they told his parents what the angel had said about him.
These shepherds are the exact opposite of the star-seekers. These are not learned men, readers of books, thinkers and leaders; these are men who lived by their wits, charged with keeping their sheep safe, by whatever means they could. They were outdoor men, used to being on a hillside, living a wild life.
The beauty of Christmas, God’s coming to earth, is that he came to all. He spoke in ways they could grasp and led them within their realms of experience.
Well bred, well read, well dressed people were welcome. So too were rough and ready, straight from the fields people. Whoever we are, whatever our realm of experience or our way of life, God comes to us and welcomes us.
God comes, light in the darkness for one and all. God with us.
As we reflect again
on the characters of the Christmas story,
we see how your coming,
is for each one.
For those who work with their hands
and those who study books;
for those of great standing
and those who society looks down on
or takes for granted.
is for all.
As it sinks in what that means for me,
may I live it in my life.
Join us reading Walking Backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell from SPCK Publishing this advent. Be part of #adventbookclub, share your thoughts here, on your own blog (and let us know we’ll link to it), on Twitter using #adventbookclub or on the Adventbookclub Facebook page