By Sam Knutson
It’s a special honor to visit a newborn baby and its parents, even more so to be the first ones to see the swaddled little bundle of joy. It speaks volumes of your relationship when the parents invite you to see a child. So, what does it say about the first people to see baby Jesus?
It wasn’t kings or Wise Men at first. No, the Father gave the greatest birth announcement of all time to shepherds. So, the first visitors to behold God made flesh had just rushed over after being out in the fields with sheep all day. They were probably a little dirty, smelly, and sweaty–definitely not up to code for current cleanliness standards for delivery rooms!
When Christ came into the world, God made clear what kind of Messiah was born: He is a God for us in our muck.
We have a God Who is willing to become incarnate, Who is willing to move from heaven to humanity for us (Philippians 2:6-8). Christ became man and dwelt among us because His desire for us is so great. Jesus took on flesh so that He could offer hope to us. He cares for us and died for us while we were still marred and dirtied by sin (Romans 5:6-11).
This holiday season, we needn’t have any shame in our approaching God. He is the God of shepherds. We can trust Him, be vulnerable with Him, and be open with Him. Friends, run freely and unhindered to our God! He welcomes you, sin, dirt, and all. You are why Christ was born!
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” – Luke 2:8-20
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