On that first Christmas night, the first ones to hear about the birth of the Christ Child were shepherds taking care of their flock in the fields outside of Bethlehem. Of all people, the shepherds. They smelled like sheep. They didn’t have any money. They slept on the ground. They kept to themselves. They were certainly not important people.
But the angel appeared to them. The shepherds weren’t even allowed in the Temple. They were looked down upon by most people. But the shepherds were the first ones to meet Jesus. Not the governor or the king. Not the city council or the bishop. Of all people, the angel appeared to the shepherds, the least likely.
That reminds me of something pretty important: the good news of the Gospel is for everyone. The good news of Christmas is for all people. It doesn’t matter who we are. It doesn’t matter what our past might be like. Our looks, our popularity, our financial status, none of that matters.
The message of the angel to the shepherds is for all time: “Don’t be afraid. I have good news of great joy for ALL people. Unto you is born this night in Bethlehem a savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2: 10-11)