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. Luke 2:8-9
Shepherds. They were young and impressionable. You might even say they were insignificant in the overall scheme of things. An angel appeared to them in the middle of the night. They paid attention and did what they were told. They probably left their flocks unattended while they went to see this baby.
But they were still shepherds. They had nothing to offer this newborn and his parents. So what did God have to gain by giving a few lowly shepherd boys a message about a baby being born in a cow’s trough? After the shepherds saw the family, told of their angelic vision, and glorified God (Luke 2:19-20), they returned to their fields.
But now, did they ever have a story to tell! And you’d better believe that they didn’t keep this story a secret.
Two thousand years later we still tell the story of a few insignificant shepherd boys who were given a brief glimpse into the heavenly realms. In God’s view, they were far from insignificant. And I guess that’s one of the points of the Christmas story: God was using insignificant people, events, surroundings, and venues to announce to the world about the birth of His Son. It’s certainly not the way we would have done it.