Hope for All Mankind
University Advancement Officer
November 27, 2023
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘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. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’ 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.’ So, they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.”
Being a shepherd was a lowly job. Other than the servants who washed guests’ feet as they entered a house, it was probably the lowest job to have at the time of Christ’s birth. The shepherds were dirty and smelly. They spent most of their time alone or with other malodorous shepherds like themselves. They were oftentimes outcasts and probably not invited to many social gatherings. They were forgotten and looked down upon.
On a larger scale, the shepherds represented social poverty and sinful humanity when the Christchild came into the world. God sent His angel messengers to deliver the news of the Messiah’s birth. What amazes me about this story is who God chose to tell first. It wasn’t the wealthy, the high priests, the influential politicians, or the noblemen and kings. No! God chose to tell the lowly shepherds first.
He bestowed upon them the precious gift of salvation and hope before anyone else got the notification. God chose them as a sign that the Messiah would be for all mankind regardless of station. His coming sacrifice would be available to anyone who would believe and receive. These humble men did exactly what God wanted them to. They took the good news of His son’s birth and shared with others. And as a result, their lives were never the same. They understood that everything had changed from that point, for all humanity.
And just like the shepherds, we have the hope of Christ. Our lives have been changed forever because of His sacrifice and love for each one of us, regardless of what we have done or where we come from. The fact that God chose to tell the shepherds first about the greatest news ever shared, should give us all immeasurable hope.