Yesterday, we considered that, what the world tells us are weaknesses that disqualify us for ministry, and should be hidden in shame, God declares, through these weaknesses, he can do a perfect work so mighty, we ought to “boast” about these things. Today, on Christmas Eve, my mind turns along these same lines to a group of lowly shepherds keeping watch over their sheep by night. What were their great ministry qualifications? None. They were poor shepherds, ordinary people, and hardly in an impressive occupation. Shepherding was a grueling, 24/7 occupation that left little time for participating in the religious life of ancient Israel.
They were far from exalted like respected rabbis or glorified like kings. Yet God has always had a special fondness for shepherds–he took David from tending his father’s sheep and not only made him king over all Israel, but chose David’s family for the Lord Christ Jesus to be born into and of course in Luke 2, we read the familiar story of the angels breaking into several anonymous shepherds lowly existence to announce the birth of the Savior.
What we may not consider is that, while wisemen may know how to read the times and the seasons and seek the king, the king himself chose the shepherds, lifted them out of their fields, away from the community and religious life, and gave to them the glad tidings of great joy unto all the world, and the sign of a babe wrapped in swaddling and lying in a manger. Luke 2:17-18 then tells us, “And when they it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning the child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.”
God loves the humble and the meek and lowly, the rejected and the despised of this world. He chooses us and calls us His own, and has in store for us so much more than we could ever ask for or imagine.
See you next Monday. 🙂