Years ago, in a cold dark pasture a simple man, a shepherd, settled into his camp with fellow shepherds to keep watch over the flock through the night.
These sheep were valuable to those who entrusted him with their care and protection and he took his job seriously even though his masters and most of the rest of the folks in the nearby towns looked down on him and his buddies. They told him he smelled bad, he was uneducated, poor, with thread-bare garments and worst of all he was spiritually unclean because his job and social status didn’t allow him to make it to church.
The campfire had burned low later that night and the only light was the faint embers and the shepherd could just make out the white shapes of the sheep around him.
Suddenly the meadow was awash with the brightest light the man had ever experienced and a strange being, an angel perhaps, appeared before him. As the rest of the sheep crew awakened they were all gripped with fear. What could be happening here? Was the world coming to an end?
Then the angel spoke to this motley bunch of lowly shepherds and told them not to panic, all was well and he brought with him the greatest of news.
Here was the angel of the Lord telling a bunch of society’s lowest of low that a Savior for the world had just been born in a manger in the fields.
Wow! Talk about a first century news flash. How could this be? The Messiah that had been talked about for ages wasn’t born in a palace or a temple but in a cave in the cold. Equally amazing to these working stiffs was the realization that they were somehow the first to hear the news.
This is a simple way of telling one part of the Christmas story that I think is the best part of the tale. We don’t have to make the story hard to understand.
Imagine how those shepherds near Bethlehem must have felt when the heavenly host descended and began to praise God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and goodwill toward men.”
Suddenly they knew they were connected with their Creator and they also knew that there was hope even for their souls that had been judged by man as unclean and unfit. All they had to do was seek this Savior babe and they left immediately.
They left quickly and wasted no time finding Jesus. Afterward they told everyone they saw the good news and then returned to their flocks and the peaceful meadow.
It doesn’t matter what our station in life might be, there is hope even in a remote pasture at this season and all year long. All that is required is that we seek the innocent child savior and believe in the light that surrounds him.
Karl Terry writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org