Photo Credit: Mikaela Hamilton
This month I want to help us prepare for Christmas by reflecting on God’s Grace. If you want an overview of what I’m trying to accomplish, read the first post in this blog series called A Month To Remember God’s Grace.
Below is the reflection for today.
DECEMBER 21 – GRACE MEANS JESUS WAS BORN FOR YOU
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
- Luke 2:8-11
When Jesus was born an angel appeared to shepherds and gave them good news of great joy. A savior had been born for them.
This was a startling message. In those days shepherds were social outcasts. They were marginalized, laughed at and looked over. After all, shepherds spent most of their time with smelly and stubborn animals. They didn’t make a lot of money. They were not welcome in the temple for worship. As a boy you didn’t grow up hoping to be a shepherd; it was a job you ended up with. All of this is to say, the shepherds were the most unlikely group to be part of the Christmas story.
And yet because of grace when God wanted to announce the coming of Jesus to this world, he didn’t send his angels to a king in a grand palace, or to a great scholar in a lecture hall, or to a priest at the temple. Instead he sent his angel to a group of nobodies that nobody noticed and he told them that a savior had been born for them.
Stop for a minute and consider the significance of this: Grace means nobodies are somebody to God. You see grace means Jesus came for all people, not just important people. He came to rescue those who have made it in life and those who have not. He came for the high and the low – the rich and the poor – the healthy and the sick – the known and the unknown. Jesus is an inclusive savior. He was born for you.
I don’t know about you, but for me that’s encouraging, because at times I feel like a shepherd. At times I feel on the outside looking in. At times I feel a little awkward and out of place. At times I feel like a nobody that nobody notices, and yet reflecting on the shepherds reminds me that God notices me. He cares about my ordinary life, and he sent an extraordinary savior for me.
This Christmas reflect on grace and remember that Jesus was born for you.
Has there been a season in your life when you felt marginalized, and unnoticed? How is it encouraging to you to know that Jesus notices you and loves you in every season of life? What does it tell you about God that he included the shepherds in the Christmas story?