Christmas Angels: Messages of Truth for Each Day

Day 4 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

“I bring you good news!” (Angels visit the shepherds)


Imagine it’s a completely dark night. You're somewhere out in the wilderness, away from the city. The only living things are you, your group of friends, and whatever animals are lurking in the darkness.


And then suddenly a gloriously bright and radiant angel appears. Out of nowhere. With no warning.


When that happened to a group of shepherds on the night of Jesus’ birth, the Bible tells us they were terrified. Who can blame them? That kind of thing doesn’t happen every day. In fact, it almost never happens. But this was no ordinary night. This was the night when God appeared on earth, in flesh, as a helpless newborn babe.


You might expect that the first people to hear this amazing news would have been kings. Or queens. Or other rulers. Or at least important and powerful people.


But God chose shepherds as the first to hear about his Son’s birth. Shepherds weren't part of the rich-and-famous crowd. They were ordinary hard-working folk who did what they needed to make a living and survive. Their work was tiring, cold, dirty, difficult, and unprestigious. They weren’t honored or esteemed. 


But THEY were who the angel visited first when Jesus was born. THEY were the first who heard the biggest news of all time. THEY were the first to know where Jesus was born. THEY were the first to see Jesus' face. THEY were the first to tell everyone what had happened.


From the very beginning of Jesus’ life, God made it clear that his Son was coming to initiate a new kind of kingdom, one where the first become last, the greatest become least, the humble are honored, the meek are esteemed, the proud are brought down, the lost are found, the undeserving are loved.


God doesn't play favorites. He sees all of us, knows all of us, cares for all of us, loves all of us. And sometimes the most unworthy of us — which is all of us — experience the most amazing mysteries of God. 


REFLECTION


What are some ways you've experienced or observed favoritism?


What does God's choice of everyday people mean for us? For how we treat others?


Read the scripture passage for a Christmas story about ordinary people.