By Justin Rossow
Common, ordinary shepherds;
Blue collar workers trying to make ends meet;
Not too proud to work the night shift and get dirt under their rough finger nails;
With a better education or a little more luck, these peasants wouldn’t have been out in the fields that night protecting somebody else’s sheep.
These are the down to earth, simple, hard-working, brave, and lowly, these shepherds on the bottom rung of the social ladder.
You might have expected angels in the Temple.
You might have hoped to catch a glimpse of glory in the Holy Place.
The Presence of the Almighty God might be found in the city of Jerusalem.
But not here. Not in the fields. Not with the shepherds.
Not among the working class poor.
But that’s exactly how it happened.
Right smack dab in the middle of their ordinary routine, these ordinary shepherds find themselves surrounded by the glory of the presence of Yahweh.
And the angel armies, known to haunt the temple on occasion, take their show on the road and scare the living daylights out of these lowly shepherds.
The message, you see, is clear: this miracle birth has set up a new world order.
The outsiders have been brought in.
The low have been raised up.
The presence of God is not confined to a religious class.
God Himself wants to come to shepherds and migrant workers
and burger flippers and Wal-Mart-welcomers
and professors and doctors
and small business owners, and even truck drivers.
God Himself wants to come to everybody. God Himself want to come to YOU.
So God wraps Himself in human flesh and is laid in a feeding trough.
And glory of the presence of Yahweh surrounds a meeting of the Shepherd Workers Local 898.
And the angel armies sing: “Glory to God in the highest!”
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Editor’s Note: This reflection was the fourth of five shared in worship at the 7:30 PM Christmas Eve worship service at St. Luke–Ann Arbor. Special thanks to truck driver Rick Wilson for presenting these words.