8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Lk. 2:8-14
Imagine: it is late at night; everyone is deep asleep – except the night watchmen. Have you ever seen a night watchman? I am not talking about a Marine, no; just a plain night watchman. A night watchman job is not anyone’s idea of a job. Night watchmen jobs are the most menial of jobs. Some people have a romantic idea of a night watchman because they read of it in the Bible; but there is nothing romantic about staying awake out in the cold at night. No one would not want to be in their warm beds in the middle of the night. Whoever accepts the job of night watchmen accepts it only as a last resort.
In my country, night watchmen are the lowest-paid and they have the most wretched lives among the entire working class spectrum.
In a sense, shepherds are also just like these night watchmen. They have to stay awake at night to, as the Bible says, “keep watch over their flock”. And in Middle Eastern countries it is extremely cold at night, therefore this is not a job that one would willingly take up. By any standards, a shepherd is a very lowly occupation.
But it was to just this very group that God sent His angel to announce the news of Jesus’ birth. And you have to wonder why God would send His angel to break such important news to mere shepherds. I mean, there were far more important people He could have informed first. There were kings, there were noblemen, there were high priests and all the high-profile men of God.
What’s in a shepherd, anyway? What is he worth? Much nothing.
And as the poor shepherds stood there trembling at the sight of this one angel, God “upped the ante”, as they say. In other words, God increased things, His blessings, upon these lowly folks! The Bible says that “suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
All of a sudden, a whole company of angels appeared from heaven and, together with this angel, they began praising God. These angels sang to God in the presence of the shepherds!
I can assure you, angels are not Mariah Carey. What these shepherds heard was not anything that can be found in this world. These shepherds heard the sweetest tones in the world, tones that no other man in the world will likely ever hear. Not even a king.
What a blessing! Sometimes you have to wonder who the true kings in this world are!!
I do not intend to say that we should all become shepherds. But the lesson here is clear, that God is with those who are lowly of heart. Probably many of us need to come down from our high horses and lower ourselves a little bit more. And then we have the guarantee of receiving the true blessing from God, just He did to these humble shepherds.
[Below: There is no class difference with God]