8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
14“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors.
Once again, actions aligned with words has great impact.
It’s one thing to say that God glories in peace among those whom God favors. It’s another thing to demonstrate that truth by declaring it to some of those least likely to be favored otherwise.
Of course, shepherds made a valuable contribution to the community … tending the flocks which would provide food and clothing … not unlike all of the service providers in our own day who accomplish the essential work of keeping our communities clean and safe, most often without affirmation or prestige.
Still, shepherds did spend almost all their time with the animals. They were known to smell like their charges and they wouldn’t have held influence over any others than their charges. They don’t even hide their own surprise as the angels approaching them first with this game changing news “which the Lord has made known to us.”
Then whether out of curiosity or skepticism, they take off to verify the news that has been told to them. And after witnessing the scene of the Saviors birth, they are converted. God does glory in peace among all whom God favors … a favor that includes them. And if it includes them it includes everyone … and everyone’s gotta know.
So off they go with news of words and actions demonstrating God’s favor for all people. May our words and actions align with the same good news to all those we encounter this day as well