And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.(Luke 2:8-11)
Most of us, from the world’s perspective are insignificant and unimportant. But a great truth of Scripture and of this Christmas text is that there are no such persons with God. With Him, every person is significant. In His sight, you are important—you matter. I am so thankful we have this Biblical record, this record that God spoke to shepherds.
Interestingly, this is the only place in the Bible that records this story of the angelic interruption of shepherdly slumber. We could go one of two ways with this and with all other such places in the Bible. On one hand, we could believe that since it isn’t repeated, it isn’t that essential. For instance, all four gospels record the crucifixion of Jesus. We might be prone to lean toward a belief that the Bible would repeat what it wants us to grasp--that God is redundant with stubborn and dull sinners, not leaving them to catch on one hearing His important messages. But that isn’t a healthy Biblical viewpoint, is it? That belittles and devalues the Word of God. It advances a notion that only a part of the Bible is really worth grasping, while others, though they are perhaps interesting and helpful, can generally be overlooked.
Perhaps you realize that only the gospels of Matthew and Luke give us anything at all on the birth of Jesus. Mark begins with Jesus’ baptism, while John begins with Jesus’ pre-existence. Why the Holy Spirit moved only within the heart of Dr. Luke to record this event I do not know. I only know I am grateful that God has given us this passage. God speaks to people the rest of society is prone to forget or ignore.
The Amherst, Massachusetts poet Emily Dickinson wrote in 1891, “I’m nobody! Who are you?” I wish she had known God better. No one is a “nobody” with him. Not Emily Dickinson. Not shepherds abiding in the fields. Not me and not you. Jesus tells us “the very hairs on your head are numbered; don’t be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:7).
God cares about us. It is why He sent Jesus. Jesus would die on a cross so that our sins could be forgiven. That’s how much God cares.