Our scripture this morning is Luke 2:8-20.
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.
God wanted people to know that hope had entered the world. The angels were sent to announce the holy birth to shepherds in the area, who along with fishermen and craftsmen (like carpenters) were at the bottom of the social and economic ladder of that time. However, God sent them an invitation to come and see the miracle of salvation that had come to be with us.
God didn’t ignore the rich and powerful, He loves them as well but He had other means of alerting them. Matthew 2 tells of wise men coming to King Herod with the news. Unfortunately, like many with power or wealth, Herod was threatened by this and lied to the wise men about his motives. He was unwilling to accept that God had a different plan to save His people.
Being rich or poor doesn’t change God’s love for us, but it often affects our response to the coming of His kingdom. What do we hold so dear that we are unwilling to let it go in order to be saved? May we hear His call to life and come humbly to see the miracle and confess Jesus as Lord.
Gracious God, in Your mercy You came to change our lives and our world. Help us to be part of the ministry Christ has left for us, to be ready for the great day when He returns to take us home. Amen.