Have you ever been around a flock of sheep?
The worst part is their backsides. The condition of their wool makes even the scraggliest man’s beard look downright attractive.
And let’s not talk about the smell (of the sheep… not the beard).
The point is, working with sheep would be terrible. It makes sense that shepherds were considered second-rate citizens in biblical times. Yet these are the very people God displayed his glory to after the birth of Jesus.
“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’” Luke 2: 8-14 (ESV)
Of all the people God could reveal his glory to, why did he choose shepherds?
The answer lies in the proclamation of the angel: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”
“All the people” sounds good because we know that includes us. We know we don’t deserve God’s grace but we’re joyful because we’ve been included in it. That’s why the coming of Jesus was such good news!
But it’s also good news of great joy because “all the people” include those we might not. If it were up to us we probably wouldn’t have told the shepherds first and maybe there are people today we don’t really want to tell. People with different political passions, people with more money and people with less money, good people and bad people, people we like and people who have hurt us.
The call for us to show the love of Christ to others, at times, requires us to say and do things for people we might not otherwise associate with. That’s what it means to Go Bold.
A question worth asking yourself this holiday season is, “Who needs me to step out and share the love of Christ in a bold way?”
Who needs hope and joy, and how can you be used by God to bring it into their lives?
It could be someone less fortunate than you, or someone you’ve been at odds with, or someone altogether different than you. It could mean you meet a need, invite someone to a family gathering, serve selflessly, or offer forgiveness. Whatever it is and whoever you do it for, God could use you to bring good news of great joy to all people.
– Lance Lawson, Church on Wednesday Campus Pastor