TO THE LEAST OF THESE

by David Attebery | Dec. 24, 2018

 “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”

LUKE 2:20 NIV

When I was a kid, our church had us perform the Christmas story every year. You know… wise men, shepherds, an angel, Mary, Joseph, and a plastic baby in a manger. Being an angel could be cool… except for the challenge of trying to keep a pipe-cleaner halo in place on your head! But, the shepherd’s role – I liked that one a lot! I could just take my simple robe (red with paisleys!), put a nice cloth belt around it, throw a bath towel over my head with a head band, kick off my shoes and put on my flip-flops, grab my staff and – voila! – instant shepherd, waiting to hear from the angel with pipe cleaners on his head!

What qualifies someone to get a visit from an angel of the Lord? I haven’t seen a specific list of qualifications in the Bible anywhere. But – in some situations in the Bible – it seems that some things were clearly evident: a person with humility – needing a clear sense of identity and direction. So, as we have seen, people like Zechariah, Mary, Joseph, and shepherds qualified. Now, they weren’t “trying” to qualify. They were just living as followers of the God of Israel – awaiting the promised Messiah.

Can you imagine a shepherd filling out an “Angel Visit” request application?

Name? 

One of “those” shepherds.

Address?

Fields.

Vocation?

Watching over sheep day and night.

Experience?

All my life; family business.

References?

Other shepherds.

Dreams:

Get out of the fields; take a bath regularly; be at home with family.

I love how Jesus loves “the least of these.” He picked humble, ordinary people to receive a visit from an angel. The angel had told the shepherds to not be afraid – that there was good news that would bring universal joy: The Messiah was born! And, they could find Him wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

And that’s what happened! And after they went and found everyone and everything just as the angel had described, they spread the Good News! Shepherds were the first “evangelists!” I bet we’d have never guessed that this would be how God would arrange things.

But, let’s be honest… God does the choosing, right? We didn’t qualify ourselves. He gave us the Good News solely out of His heart of passionate love, mercy, and grace. The Hope of the World was given to us as a gift. So, what do we do in response? We do what the shepherds did. Tell the story; share it! Tell your story; share your faith! Our focus Scripture for today says that they headed back home, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which happened just as they had been told. We – humble and ordinary people – can do that! Who will we tell first?

4 Comments

  1. Darla Beller

    It seems that God is always turning things upside down, from our way of thinking to His! That’s why reading His Word is so important. It rearranges our thinking to be like His. We learn to love our enemies, to be kind to those who hate us. We learn that the greatest among us is a servant. The meek inherit the earth, and weak things are chosen to humble the strong. Shepherds were lowly and despised. Exactly who God was looking for. Thanks for the reminder to simple be what God has called me to be and to share what He has done for me.

    Reply
  2. Clif Ruddick

    Thank you for these great reflections on this passage of scripture about the shepherds.

    Reply
  3. Meni Hansen

    Great challenge. Thank you for the encouragement.

    Reply
  4. Kathy Vanpool

    Great love it, merry Christmas !

    Reply

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To the Least of These

BY: David Attebery | Dec. 24, 2018

“The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”

LUKE 2:20 NIV

When I was a kid, our church had us perform the Christmas story every year. You know… wise men, shepherds, an angel, Mary, Joseph, and a plastic baby in a manger. Being an angel could be cool… except for the challenge of trying to keep a pipe-cleaner halo in place on your head! But, the shepherd’s role – I liked that one a lot! I could just take my simple robe (red with paisleys!), put a nice cloth belt around it, throw a bath towel over my head with a head band, kick off my shoes and put on my flip-flops, grab my staff and – voila! – instant shepherd, waiting to hear from the angel with pipe cleaners on his head!

What qualifies someone to get a visit from an angel of the Lord? I haven’t seen a specific list of qualifications in the Bible anywhere. But – in some situations in the Bible – it seems that some things were clearly evident: a person with humility – needing a clear sense of identity and direction. So, as we have seen, people like Zechariah, Mary, Joseph, and shepherds qualified. Now, they weren’t “trying” to qualify. They were just living as followers of the God of Israel – awaiting the promised Messiah.

Can you imagine a shepherd filling out an “Angel Visit” request application?

Name? One of “those” shepherds. Address? Fields. Vocation? Watching over sheep day and night.

Experience? All my life; family business. References? Other shepherds. Dreams: Get out of the fields; take a bath regularly; be at home with family.

I love how Jesus loves “the least of these.” He picked humble, ordinary people to receive a visit from an angel. The angel had told the shepherds to not be afraid – that there was good news that would bring universal joy: The Messiah was born! And, they could find Him wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

And that’s what happened! And after they went and found everyone and everything just as the angel had described, they spread the Good News! Shepherds were the first “evangelists!” I bet we’d have never guessed that this would be how God would arrange things.

But, let’s be honest… God does the choosing, right? We didn’t qualify ourselves. He gave us the Good News solely out of His heart of passionate love, mercy, and grace. The Hope of the World was given to us as a gift. So, what do we do in response? We do what the shepherds did. Tell the story; share it! Tell your story; share your faith! Our focus Scripture for today says that they headed back home, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which happened just as they had been told. We – humble and ordinary people – can do that! Who will we tell first?

4 Comments

  1. Darla Beller

    It seems that God is always turning things upside down, from our way of thinking to His! That’s why reading His Word is so important. It rearranges our thinking to be like His. We learn to love our enemies, to be kind to those who hate us. We learn that the greatest among us is a servant. The meek inherit the earth, and weak things are chosen to humble the strong. Shepherds were lowly and despised. Exactly who God was looking for. Thanks for the reminder to simple be what God has called me to be and to share what He has done for me.

    Reply
  2. Clif Ruddick

    Thank you for these great reflections on this passage of scripture about the shepherds.

    Reply
  3. Meni Hansen

    Great challenge. Thank you for the encouragement.

    Reply
  4. Kathy Vanpool

    Great love it, merry Christmas !

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NWA Christmas