Preparing Our Hearts for Christmas

Day 5 of 9 • This day’s reading

Devotional

An Unlikely Christmas Cast


The shepherds were most likely smelly, dirty, and considered by many to be second-class, untrustworthy people. They were the ones you’d step away from, the ones you’d avoid talking to.


They were “those” people.  


They were the lowly of society, many with reputations to match. And yet, they were the ones angels appeared to on that first Christmas night and proclaimed the news God’s people had awaited generations to hear—Christ had been born.


Then there was Mary and Joseph, a poor, likely un-esteemed couple with little to offer who I suspect many in their village viewed with disdain. People could count the days of Mary’s pregnancy, making all sorts of assumptions regarding her swelling stomach.


I imagine there were those who whispered, spread rumors. She became pregnant out of wedlock, an offense worthy of stoning in her day. I suspect many considered her that kind of woman—the type they wanted their sons to avoid and warned their daughters not to become.


But we know the truth. God chose this righteous woman of humble means to be the mother of His Son. And He chose un-esteemed, smelly shepherds to first hear and share the news.


Why?


Why choose the impoverished and social outcasts of that day to play such a significant role in His redemptive story? For that matter, why did Creator God give up His divine privileges to take on human form (Phil. 3:7) and enter our sin-ravaged world?


I believe the answer is that He wants all of us—from the poorest and most shame-filled to the rich and famous—to know that no one, no one, is beyond His reach. Jesus Christ pursues each of us, regardless of where we’ve been or what we’ve done. He came to earth as a tender babe for one purpose: to save mankind. 


~Jennifer Slattery