God will do the most amazing things with the most unlikely person who will rise up
- This passage involves shepherds—men who herded livestock for a living, who were at the very bottom of the social structure. You’ve heard people say, “She cusses like a sailor.” In those days there was a saying, “He lies like a shepherd.” Fairly or unfairly, the character of a shepherd was not highly regarded. Shepherds tended to be socially inept, hygienically-challenged, and culturally reviled. The work was dirty and dangerous; shepherds were exposed to all the elements in all seasons. Men who shepherded usually had no other work options.
- Luke 2:8-20 – Speak to the unchurched too. He knows exactly who and where you are.
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. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
- The shepherds were not alone, God saw them and knew who they were. God valued them.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”
- God saw that these shepherds were industrious. They had networks and they could share the news fast.
- Al Masters lives near us and is married and had a little boy and a small business. He considered himself very blessed. And then just before Christmas a few years ago, his little boy was killed by a 15 year old boy driving a car without a license. Al Masters was filled with a deep desire for revenge. And even though that 15 year old was given a lighter sentence because he was a juvenile, Al Masters wanted the the very worst to happen to him. Then, on Christmas Eve, his wife got him to come to church. He listened to the story of the angels coming to the shepherds. He recognized that he himself was far from God and without hope. And he began to weep. When he went out of the church, the next day, on Christmas, he set out to find out more about the boy who killed his son. He found that he came from a broken home, that he lived with his mother, who was an alcoholic. He went and he met the boy. He gave the boy a job in his shop, and then later took him into his home. And that boy, now a few years later, says that Al Masters is the most saintly person he’s ever known.
- If our neighbors and co-workers are going to find and follow Jesus… it won’t be because of a sermon, it won’t be because of our musicians. What changes the world are normal ordinary people like you. God has placed in you a position to invest in people that no one else can connect with.
- We cannot be a church that only has a few people that do ministry. Don’t skip Sundays or just come and sit. Come ready to go. God wants to use you to make a difference. None of us are the only ones doing ministry. We are all part of a team, normal, ordinary average people who serve an extraordinary God who has given us no ordinary story to tell our neighbors that God has come for them.