|The Lamb was born, so the shepherds came for Him|
Shepherds? Those stinky,smelly, oily, sweaty smelling. never-take-a-bath kind of people get to hear the angels singing before anyone else? Of course. It had to be the shepherds. They were on the job. They didn't have to be awakened. They were there, watching, waiting, ready, ever vigilant. Again, who else?
Who else would be simple and accepting of a lighted sky, sweet music and a comforting invitation to not be afraid? Uneducated, simple field folk would be happy to have a change in the nightly routine. They would not ask questions. They would not run back to the Scriptures to find out who this really could be. No way. Let's go.
Finally, it fits the pattern. God reveals Himself to those who have the least tendency to doubt and the greatest tendency to let their curiosity run free. From Genesis to Revelation, the simple and the curious get the call, and always with that suave invitation, "Do not be afraid." It's the call that the marginalized wait for. God and the Godly are the true fit for the marginalized. The shepherds didn't just happen to be there that night. They were always there. On the job. The fields, the sheep, the birds, the stars and the moon are all that they had. That one night though, they had a special Lamb to care for and they knew just how to do it...generously and without fear.
Like the Pope said, "A true missionary smells like sheep."
Come to think of it, that's perhaps why most of them are celibate!
So, that's one of my "take-aways" from this Christmas. Be a shepherd. God loves those who smell like sheep.