Luke 2: 8-20
The best stories have an element of surprise. When they said it wouldn’t happen, that it couldn’t happen and then it did. When we thought it was unlikely, that there was no hope and then hope flickered through, making the impossible possible.
The birth of Jesus is one such story. It had been prophesied, of course, by Isaiah, Zephaniah, Micah and others. It’s just that no-one expected the story to unfold in in their lifetime in quite the way it did. Roman occupation and oppression the backdrop added to the feeling that God was slow in keeping his promises. And then…
All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.
That God would choose shepherds to hear the good news of Jesus’ birth first was surprising. Shepherding was a despised occupation; shepherds thought to be dishonest and work-shy. Moreover, shepherding wasn’t well-paid; these shepherds were likely experiencing economic poverty. The World Bank describes poverty as having “…many faces, changing from place to place and across time, and has been described in many ways. Most often, poverty is a situation people want to escape. So, poverty is a call to action – for the poor and the wealthy alike – a call to change the world…”
The shepherds and we are called to share the amazing Christmas story – which needs no embellishment – with everyone. Let us go! We too are commissioned to share the good news that the one promised is here, the good news of how he has and is transforming lives, the good news that he is born like one of us, knowing us, lifting us from poverty of every kind, leading us and calling us to be witnesses to the world.
Deacon Pru Cahill
Thank you, gracious God,
that there is room for everyone in salvations story.
Thank you for choosing shepherds to be witnesses to Jesus’ birth.
They were not rich or influential or of high standing,
but listened and responded to the good news of the angels.
May we respond like them, sharing your generosity in a world of scarcity.
We ask this in the name of Jesus,
Shepherd, Messiah and King. Amen.