December 16th

December 16: Luke 2:8-12

Luke 2:8-12  (NIV)

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.”


The shepherds were told to look for a baby and that they would know they found the right baby, because the one they’re looking for would be lying in a food trough.

Why would God choose the shepherds to be the first to see the baby Jesus? They were poor, low class, night shift shepherds. They likely smelled bad and were viewed by most people as untrustworthy.

Why would God choose them? One reason is simple: they wouldn’t think it strange to lay a baby in a feeding trough! As shepherds living on the land and raising their children in poverty, that wouldn’t make them uncomfortable.

Maybe God chose them, in part, because Mary and Joseph, and especially the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, were the kind of people and circumstances the shepherds would be comfortable with.

I wonder, if Jesus came today and was born in a homeless shelter, was laid in a bucket and nursed next to animals—how would you respond? Would you be able to worship Jesus? Or would you be distracted by the surroundings?

How might your expectations for how things should be keep you from worshiping Jesus when he’s found in some unlikely places?


God, the One who is born in a stable, help us to face you without pretence of arrogance.

Joe Graves