“AND IN THE SAME region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their
flock by night” (Luke 2:8).
This text should surprise us. God sent his angelic messengers to shepherds. You and I would have sent them to someone important, maybe the Jewish High Priest. If he wasn’t available we would have sent the angels to Herod, king of Israel. Others would have picked the Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus.
But God is not like us. He has no use for human class distinctions. Social class structures exist because of gifts which God has assigned—beauty, intelligence, aggressiveness, or talent—but now motivated and energized by self-sufficient pride, greed, and self-promotion.
To make clear that God rejects our class structures, and the values upon which they are based, God sent the angels to the lowest echelon on the ancient world’s social ladder—Shepherds.
God is humble. He does everything to demonstrate His humility and our great need of that very same humility. Everything is God’s gift, but we boast as if it were not. That is why God has designed the gospel so that we must stoop to enter his kingdom.
No earthly attainment will ever impress God. The only thing that impresses Him is a lowly, self-emptying, servants heart motivated by a desire to glorify God and enrich others.
That is why God sent the angels to shepherds, to reduce everyone—president and janitor, college professor and illiterate, CEO and ditch digger, male and female, black and white, heterosexual and homosexual, rich and poor—to the same level. Spiritual and moral bankruptcy.
Here is the cure for racism, sexism, classism and every other “ism” that has oppressed people since the beginning.