8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
This is a story about the first people outside of the family to receive the announcement of the Good News—shepherd boys in a nearby field. Shepherds were the opposite of society’s elite. The fact God chose them to be the first to hear and visit Jesus points to the way God views the world. It’s those you least expect, that society has the least interest to hear from, that will be made first in God’s eyes.
Reflect. When Jesus crashes into the history of humanity in that lowly stable, it was the climatic moment for humanity. That Jesus would care to be made low just to be able to connect on a human level with what you and I face on the day-to-day points to the new way God has in store. What does, or do you think, that mean to you today?