In the time of Jesus shepherds were not well thought of.
They were the toilet cleaners of today.
You know those jobs that people believe they are too cool for.
Those jobs that are hard work and little pay, but people make their living from them.
The bible says of these shepherds;
There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:8-12 MSG)
I think it’s amazing that God chose the lowly sheepherders to be one of the first people to come and kneel down before the king.
I think He notices the hard workers.
You know those ones that work behind the scenes, the farmers who toil the soil so we can eat, the market sellers who pack fruit box after fruit box, the cleaners who scurry around the shopping centres this Christmas after we have left our empty chip packets on the floor.
I think God sees the heart of those who the world would call lowly.
The poor, the forgotten, the overlooked and the downtrodden.
It makes me smile sometimes when I overhear people who are complaining in the queue at the post office as they wait an extra five minutes so they can post their expensive cards.
I don’t think they realize that those who are first will come last and those who are last first.
The kingdom of god is an upside down one. So those shepherds who were most likely dirty, rough and ready, we’re the ones who were called to the infant Christ.
Not the pious, proud, religious ones.
The dirty, malnourished and salt of the earth.
The shepherd dwellers, the forgotten heroes, the farm boys.
Pride comes before a fall and in the midst of the nativity narrative the humble are the ones who truly see Christ for who he is in their midst.
Salt of the earth.
It is that sort of character that perceives who Jesus is in our midst.