My favorite part of the Christmas story comes right after Jesus is born, wrapped up & lying in the manger.
“There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”
At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises: “Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please Him.” (Luke 2: 8-14)
Isn’t that amazing? God brought not only a bright light into the sky to herald Jesus’ birth, but sent an angel & angelic choir to common folk not intimately a part of this Story and invited them in to it!
But here is the coolest part of the story to me in the next 4 verses…
“As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.” (Luke 2:15-18)
Not only did the shepherds get to see Jesus first hand, they couldn’t help but share the good news that Light has entered our world.
I am amazed at how God planned to reveal Himself not only to His people in Israel through prophetic words, but also to:
💡THE LOWLY… a newly married couple in an unusual situation from Nazareth, one of the humblest towns in Israel
💡THE OVERLOOKED… the nearby sheepherders, the youngest children of the flock owners, who likely took on the aroma for the sheep they cared for and lived with 24/7. It is likely there may have been daughters in this group. (According to Jewish tradition, they would have been pre- marrying aged, 8-12/13ish.)
💡THE WELL RESPECTED… a priest and his barren wife
💡And to THE OUTSIDERS…. such a bright and timely light shone in the sky which drew in wise men from foreign lands, and caught the attention of the current king, also a foreigner, ruling over Israel at the time.
Regardless of their situation, birth order or social & religious status. Insiders, outsiders, royalty and lowly all mingled with the angelic as Emmanuel, God with us arrived for ALL to come and see.