Verse: Luke 2:8-15
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
9 An angel of the Lord appeared to 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. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’

“The Savior of the world has arrived!” Surely, such an announcement would be broadcast on every news station, spread like wildfire across social media, and be all people could talk about, right? So, why was this message proclaimed outside of town, at night, to a small group of the lowest class of people in their culture?

Well, the angel specifically said that this “good news” would “cause great joy for all the people”. Now, we know from the Bible that this doesn’t mean “every person”, because not all people are saved. So, it stands to reason that the reference here is to all TYPES of people, even the lowliest classes. In this case, shepherds. In fact, God had spent the past several thousand years alerting the Jews to the coming Messiah. But they chose to ignore the signs, even when presented with that Messiah himself. The very fact that shepherds were the audience for the angel’s message demonstrates that God’s love and his salvation would know no cultural or socio-economic boundaries.

So, what are we to take away from this story? Two things, I think.

First, it doesn’t matter who WE are, God’s love is for us. His salvation is for us. His son died for us. Are you dirty with sin? Nobody was dirtier than the shepherds. Do you feel cast out from society? They literally lived outside the town, with the animals. Are you afraid to stand before God? The shepherds were terrified! Even if you think you are the lowest of the low, the most undeserving person in the world, you are EXACTLY who God wants.

Second, we aren’t to focus our spreading of his word on only the people we think deserve it. Because it is for ALL THE PEOPLE. This is why the work of ministries like 1in7B, The Paris Foundation, and so many others is so important. They focus on the outcast, the downtrodden, the dirty. And they bring hope, joy, and the calming of fears, through the meeting of physical needs, and by pointing to Jesus, just like the angels did.

God, thank you that your message of hope and joy is for ALL who will receive it. Thank you for taking a dirty, undeserving person like me and sending your son to die for me. Help me to share that message and your love with everyone I come in contact with, without any regard for whether I think they deserve it. Amen.

Author: Dave MacDonald