The shepherds were the first to know
About the holy sight.
Their fields and flocks were all aglow
From the angel’s glorious light.
The angel brought good news for all
Of peace on earth and joy
The Savior of the world was born
In a manger, a baby boy.
Read this account for yourself in Luke 2:8-14
Of all the people God could have chosen to bless with the good news of the Savior’s birth, he chose the shepherds. And bless he did. He sent one angel to the shepherds with his glorious message, and followed that by filling the sky with angels surrounded by God’s heavenly light and praising God. No fireworks display could hold a candle to God’s heavenly display of his glory.
What else do we know about the shepherds? They stayed with their sheep day and night with little or no opportunity for bathing. They were looked down upon by society as the lowest class of people. Their testimony carried no weight in court.
When God chose the shepherds to carry the good news of Christ’s birth to the world, he conveyed as well the message that he cared about all people beginning with the least in the sight of the world. Perhaps the reality that the details of the birth of Jesus are so few in the Bible has much to do with the probability that few people listened to the shepherds or believed them.
This devotional message corresponds to the tenth mini-story in The First Christmas by Janice D. Green. The First Christmas is available here.