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Summary: Christmas eve message. Why did God choose the outcasts of society to make the grand announcement of the Savior's birth?

Missing the Big Story: 115 years ago this past month, On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made their first flight of an airplane at Kitty Hawk NC. The flight lasted 59 seconds and travelled 850 ft. Wilbur rushed to the local telegraph office and sent the following message home -- WE HAVE FLOWN FOR 57 SECONDS - WE WILL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!

Upon receiving the telegram their sister, Katherine went to the newspaper office, told the editor of her brother’s new flying machine, and informed him, they would be home for Christmas, if he would like to set up an interview. He told her that was nice, and he would be sure to put something in the paper regarding the boys. On December 19th, the local paper placed the following headline on page 6 of the paper: "POPULAR LOCAL BICYCLE MERCHANTS TO BE HOME FOR HOLIDAYS".

The most important story of the year -- man’s first powered flight -- and the editor missed it! I wonder if the same could be said about us when it comes to Christmas. [1]

Why did God make the most important announcement the world has ever heard to a group of shepherds? Let me tell you about shepherds in the first century:

Shepherds had changed from a family business like in the King’s David’s day, a noble profession, that Able, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and David. By the time we come to the first century however, shepherding has lost its luster. Shepherds made up the lowest class of people, coming in just ahead of the lepers. In the Talmud, which is a collection of interpretations and insight from the rabbis, we read these words: “No help is to be given to heathen or shepherds.” Shepherds were unclean. Their work kept them out of the temple and synagogues for weeks on end. They could not observe the Sabbath, or spend the time necessary to make themselves clean. They could not observe all the festivals and feasts requested by Jewish life. They had a reputation as thieves and their testimony was not allowed in court, yet God called on them to be His witnesses.

The fact was, shepherds had a hard, thankless job. And it was dangerous. It was their responsibility to protect the sheep from robbers and wild animals. But in the big scheme of things, they were not considered very important. No one should romanticize the occupation of shepherds. In general shepherds were dishonest and unclean according to the standards of the law. They represent the outcasts and sinners for whom Jesus came. Yet it was to these outcasts the good news was given. Rather than announce the good news of the coming and birth of Christ to kings, nobles, princes, to the high officials at the temple, God had the royal announcement to the outcasts of society. You know God has this habit of doing just that.

1 Corinthians 1:26–29 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.

You see, it is all about Him, not us. No one should ever over-estimate their worth before Almighty God. In a survey, nearly a third of those questioned stated that, of all the persons mentioned in the Christmas story, they identified the most with the shepherds. They were your average, ordinary, everyday working people and they were the ones invited to see the birth of the King of kings! And even Jesus compares Himself to shepherds.

John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

God gave the Good News to lowly shepherds. Remember the priests and Scribes from Mathew 2? They had the word that a King of the Jews was born and they showed no interest. They did not go with the Magi to Bethlehem to investigate.

How did these shepherds take the message? So with this news, what were they going to do with it?

Luke 2:15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”

They responded in obedience. They received the message in faith and they responded to it. After such an announcement, I fully imagine they ran the whole way. They came just as they were. They did not put on clean clothes, they did shave, or otherwise made themselves more presentable. They did not even bring gifts, yhey came without hesitation. I wonder if they asked one another, why in the world would God make this announcement to us? But they didn’t waste time, the word tells us they made haste:

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