Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. – Luke 2:8
The message hidden in the Christmas story is this: In God’s kingdom, ordinary people are the real heroes.
Shepherds see and hear a heavenly choir. Not the rabbis.
A teenage girl gets visited by an angel. Not the princess in Herod’s palace.
A carpenter sees visions while he sleeps. Not the contractor who lives in a gated community.
Gentile wisemen are guided by a star. Not Jewish scholars in academic robes.
Two elderly people recognize the child as the Messiah. Not young priests attending to Temple sacrifices.
We’re attracted to the rock stars of faith. In the Vatican we have the pomp and prestige of papal processions. In traditional churches we have pastors in robes processing up an aisle. In contemporary churches we have cool looking singers and preachers.
All of these are fine, but they wouldn’t necessarily see angels or recognize baby Jesuses.
Rather, it would be the person cleaning up after the service.
The person coming up with a Sunday School lesson for the 437th time.
The person delivering personal essential items to community centers.
The person collecting backpacks and school supplies.
The person quietly rocking in a nursing home and praying under her breath.
The person cooking a casserole to take to a grieving family.
The person ordering “Hate Has No Place Here” yard signs.
Unfortunately it’s too easy for us people with titles to forget that we’re where we are for the purposes of God, not ourselves. Sometimes spiritual rock stars mistake self-delusions for revelations.
But to those who quietly serve behind the scenes, without any reason other than they’re living out their calling: unto them light shines, angels sing, and the Baby smiles.