By Stuart Powell
Have you ever thought you were the last to hear about something important? Why is that? Do you lack influence or political connections? Is your opinion not valued because of your lowly social status? Do you live in the wrong neighborhood? If the emptiness of your life is exposed by these questions, you are in good company.
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” (Luke 2:8-12).
When Jesus was born, God delivered his good news first to those with no political connections who held inconsequential jobs and lived at the edges of society. The first people, outside of Joseph and Mary, to greet the newborn Son of God were people held in low regard. God sent his glorious messenger to a group of sleepy shepherds on an unknown hillside. He created a spectacle on the stage of Heaven to deliver the news of Christ’s arrival to an audience the world had forgotten. God’s ways are not our ways.
A few miles away from where shepherds were rubbing the shekinah glory out of their eyes, the ruler of that region was fast asleep. In Jerusalem, the commander of the Roman detachment was unaware history was being fulfilled in Bethlehem. Caesar Augustus likely never heard a report of what happened that night. While God sought out the lowly, he left the high and mighty to search for his Messiah. God’s ways are not our ways.
It is the same way today. Jesus’ invitation to his table is not limited to cultural movers and shakers. Everyone who has faith in the Son of God is welcome to relive, around this table, the “good news of great joy” message. The bread speaks of Jesus’ body, sacrificed for us. The cup points to the cleansing blood Jesus’ shed on the cross. God’s ways are not our ways.
Stuart Powell lives outside of Terre Haute, Indiana, where he serves with the North Side Christian Church.
“We” and “They” are two groups separated not by distance but by attitude. If we feel we are left out and are in the “low” group, we struggle to climb that we might become one of them. Schools and colleges don’t teach their students to “climb down the ladder” but up where “They” are. Jesus teaches differently. He says, “Climb down the ladder of success and become servant to all.” It is in this position that we can help others be the success that God has made them to be.