After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in a manger, the angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds in the countryside. The Bible says, “the glory of the Lord shone round about them : and they were” very scared. Luke 2:8-9 (KJV)
Today, on Christmas day, I reflect upon why the angel of the Lord, accompanied by a “multitude of the heavenly host” Luke 2:13 (KJV) chose to announce the birth of Christ to shepherds. Why shepherds?
The gospel of Luke explains that the shepherds were watching over their flock at night. (Ibid.) Keeping watch implies that they had their eyes wide open, keeping an eye out for predators like wolves. The flock was their livelihood, akin to money in the bank.
I met a shepherd and can assure you that he wasn’t passive. This man, who often had to go after lost sheep, help them give birth and slaughter lambs (in the most humane fashion I’ve ever seen) at Easter time, was agile and very sharp. Not educated, but sharp. There was something about the life of a shepherd that made him healthier, stronger, more agile and more down to earth.
The shepherd I knew was very familiar with the area where he kept his sheep. He could leap down the mountain like a goat, moving faster than a person driving down its asphalt road!
And so, the first people who received the message that Jesus was born were humble shepherds. They were privileged, I believe, to receive a vision of angels who shone with the glory of God.
“A savior is born to you today in David’s city, Bethlehem.
You’ll find the baby wrapped in soft, precious cloth lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12 (KJV), my interpretation
God bless and may you see angels,