Are you ever shocked by the shepherds in the Christmas history? When you see those staff-grasping men around the manger, do you gasp? When you drive by the front-yard nativity scene, are you stunned to see shepherds kneeling next to our Savior?
You should be. Some scholars say that most shepherds in the first century did not just carry crooks; they were crooks. Sheep-stealing, lie-telling, good-for-nothing men. The rabbis wouldn’t let shepherds testify in court due to their reputations for not telling the whole truth . . . or even part of it. And even if that scholarship is slightly exaggerated, we know that shepherds were common men, third-shift workers and not first-shift rulers.
But that makes Luke’s words all the more stunning: “But the angel said to [the shepherds], ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord’” (Luke 2:10,11). Catch that? Good news for “all the people.” Even shepherds!
Even you. You might not be impressive by the world’s standards. You might be a third-shift worker, a nameless neighbor, or a sinner who messed up in very public ways. But the angel declared good news for all people, which logically must include you. So, rejoice today! A Savior was born to you!