24 Dec Sermon Snap Shot December 23, 2018
At the time of Jesus’ birth, shepherding – somewhat like farming in our own country – was no longer viewed as the noble work once performed by the patriarchs. It had evolved into a livelihood for persons with little status, few skills and no upward mobility. But this didn’t mean that the shepherds were bad people. No, I would argue that they – like anyone that I’ve ever known whose livelihood was closely connected to the land or sea – were just the opposite. Full of humility. Full of gratitude. Full of faith.
You’ve heard the expression, “There’s no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole.” Well, my experience has shown me that there’s no such thing as an atheist on a dairy farm…or a shrimp boat…or a tomato farm…or on a chilly night in a field outside of Bethlehem 2,000 years ago.
And as the Christmas story unfolds, the angel of the Lord chooses to make the Good News first known to these humble, hearty, faith-filled shepherds.
Not to Caesar Augustus in Rome.
Not to Quirinius in Syria.
Not to Herod in Jerusalem.
Not to the scribes or the priests or the teachers of the law – people like me.
No, the angel of the Lord chose to reveal this most important news to these humble, hearty, faith-filled shepherds – a reminder that Jesus came not for the elite…or the noble…or the well-connected…but for each and everyone of us, including the most vulnerable and disenfranchised.
From Sunday, December 23 message from Luke 2:8-15, “The Hope of the Shepherds”
Pastor, Waters Edge UMC