When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Here it is, the big moment, the crescendo of Jesus’ birth as told in Luke’s gospel, but it does not involve heads of state or kings and emperors bearing witness, instead simple shepherds are now spreading the news that the Messiah had arrived. Curious isn’t it? Our Lord is born yet it is not heralded by the scholars of the day or people with great power. Nope. Shepherds; laborers who knew no holidays, who tended their flocks 24/7, they are the ones telling everyone they can about this miraculous birth.
That plainly shows that Jesus came for everyone, not just the privileged or the religiously apt. If shepherds can come to Christ, then the news is good for the rest of us isn’t it? Everyone can receive the gift of grace that this child’s birth would eventually provide.
This will also be the first of many encounters in the Bible where the witnesses to Christ and his miracles are not the typical profile you would expect when you want to prove to anyone that this birth really did happen. If one was going to make up this story then they wouldn’t use shepherds as eyewitnesses, there would be a rabbi or two, maybe a government official; people of public standing. Here we have shepherds as our lead witnesses. Remember at the tomb women were the ones who ran to town to herald Christ’s resurrection? Women were second class citizens at the time, not the first you would choose to be credible eyewitnesses. So this is real, not a birth “story” but an account of Jesus birth. This account is told by those with no agenda, just hearts open to God’s son, the Messiah, even though he was born in a Motel 6 and not the Ritz-Carlton.
Believe it! Christ is born and He lives in us right now!
– Mark Schumacher
May we feel the exuberance of the shepherds and tell everyone what Christ’s birth means to us and how his death has changed us. Let us understand that Christ’s birth and ministry on this earth were real and not some cute story. Because if we believe that Jesus is fully God and fully Man as his birth attests, then we accept the salvation He came to deliver. Our gift this Christmas is grace.
Just as God blessed Abraham to be a blessing to others, may we spread the blessing of Jesus birth to those around us. Let us show that “Merry Christmas” is not just a salutation for a shopping season, but it is a phrase of hope and an invitation to embrace this tiny baby…Jesus. We accept this gift Lord, we accept your Son. Amen