Read – Luke 2:8-14 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.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
This week we are thinking about those who share the story. Isaiah shared a message of doom for the people of Judah. Jesus shared a message of purpose to his disciples. The disciples shared a message of hope for the world. Here is the message of joy for all the people! The angel, a messenger from God, shares the triumphant arrival of the hero of the story to a group of shepherds. The audience is not the Sanhedrin or King Herod or even Caesar Augustus, but the humble shepherds watching their animals. Likewise, the message will cause great joy for all people, not just the righteous or the rich or the men or the Jews. The two parties interacting with each other, the heavenly host shining with the glory of God and the cowering shepherds, give us a beautiful image on which to reflect: God’s love is universal and awesome. Awesome in the truest meaning of the word. The angel who appeared before the shepherds, the first to share the story, shows us that the invitation to The Table is both terrifyingly beautiful and universally joyous.