Christ, Lord of All
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 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.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
Shepherding. Not the most glamorous job. Caring for animals at all hours of the day. And not beautiful steeds that follow every command, but slow, dirty, dumb sheep who would wander away from the flock and get caught in thorny bushes. Being a shepherd was burdensome work, considered unskilled labor and usually relegated to the lower strata of society.
Yet, shepherds were the first people to hear that the Messiah, the Savior of all the world, was born. God chose some of the lowliest people by the world’s standards to be witnesses of the holy choir of angels announcing the Savior’s birth. The shepherds left their flocks, entrusting them to God’s care and went to see for themselves. So, they were not only the first to hear about the Savior, but the first worshipers to see him with their own eyes… from the fields of Bethlehem to the cradle of the Savior of the world!
Then in stark contrast, we see some others God chose to be among the first from a distance to learn about the Savior’s birth.
After [the wise men] had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh” (Matthew 2:9-11).
Wise men. Influential advisors to the king, knowledgeable in astronomy. These wise men knew that this was no normal heavenly body in the sky. They were well versed in Scripture’s prophecies to know that this was the star that was leading them to the Savior. When they arrived at the place where the Christ Child was, they presented him with their very costly gifts. They too, like the shepherds, worshiped the Savior. They understood that this little child was more important than any earthly king they served. They knew this child deserved their worship and praise.
What about you? Have you been called to a high position in life, or would the world consider you to be of lowly status? No matter who you are, what you do for a living, where you live, your age, race, or nationality—none of it matters. God sees you as his child. You are worthy of his salvation, not because of who you are or what you’ve done, but because of his mercy and love. When he sees you, he sees Jesus, the babe who humbled himself to come to earth, live a perfect life, and die the death you deserve. When he sees you, he sees a white robe of righteousness.
You are part of God’s story as much as the shepherds and wise men. You are chosen. You are part of God’s royal priesthood. You are God’s treasured possession. What high status he has given you! Live in confidence knowing that Jesus came for you!
What brought thee to the manger, O Christchild, sweet and dear?
Thy love for me, a stranger—Oh, be thou ever near!
O Lord, how great is this thy love That reaches down from heav’n above,
Thy love for us, by sin defiled, That made thee, God, a child!
(Christian Worship 43:3)
Written by Paula Sulzle
Provided by WELS Women’s Ministry