I write to wish you and your loved ones a happy Christmas and a blessed New Year. I hope and pray that you and I can use the Christmas period to reflect on the love of God, revealed in the baby born in a manger.
When the baby was born, St Luke tells us that the angel of the Lord announced it to some shepherds who were watching over their flock saying, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11, NRSV).”
Have you wondered why the shepherds? In fact, I have always wondered why. Let us, therefore, look at some of the reasons why the angel might have announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds.
Shepherds were from the lower class of society and were destitute. They lived far from the busy lives of most people of their day. They smelled like sheep and slept on the ground. Consequently, people despised them which made them feel unwanted. They were not important at personal, political, or economic level.
Given how they were perceived, Luke must have wanted to convey a special message about God to his readers, which includes us. The message was and is that no one was and is beyond the reach of God’s love. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3:16, NRSV). Thus, Jesus came for you and me! We are not too low, too insignificant, too unimportant, too powerless, too forgotten, for God to love us, search for us, and to find us.
Christmas is, therefore, a time to reflect upon the great love of our God revealed in the baby born in a manger. There is no greater gift that anyone could give than the gift of God’s only child to bridge the chasm between Him and us. The celebration of the birth of Jesus is, and must be a celebration of the infinite love of our God.
Let us celebrate this Christmas with the knowledge that Jesus is the Good Shepherd (John 10:1-8) who knows us, cares for us, and will never abandon us. He longs to bless us and make our lives full. He will deal with us lovingly and tenderly if only we should respond to Him. I pray that this Christmas will bring us more fulfilment than we have ever experienced as we invite Christ to be born in our hearts. Once again, I wish you and your loved ones a blessed Christmas.