There seems little doubt that simple shepherds were specifically chosen to hear first the announcement of that world and calendar changing birth 2000 years ago. Crowds filed into Bethlehem for the first government census, filling the motels and resulting in Jesus’ stable birth. Considering the large crowds and scurry of activity in Bethlehem that night, I can see how the serenity and wide open spaces of the city’s surrounding hills would certainly seem more fitting and picturesque for angels to announce “Good News.” Yet, wouldn’t it make more sense to proclaim this life changing “Good News” to the massive crowds and the religious and political influences in the city? After all, Jesus was born that night in the city, not in the quiet country side.
Things are not always as we think though, and it is often that Christ first appears to a heart that is aware, open, and available before one that is closed off or stressed out by excessive activity. Even religious sounding or appearing activity is not assurance of or identical with availability to His presence.
A close relative of mine made a moving statement recently that captures and reflects the feelings of many. The statement was something like… “Christmas is hard, and it’s lonely out here.” That quiet night in Shepherds fields a few men stood watch alone (and perhaps lonely), but they were available...and God came to them first... what a “Christmas” night and what a God.
From your father's heart, Dances with Jesus