8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid ; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people ; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” 15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”
The announcement went first to the shepherds. They didn’t ask God if He was sure He new what He was doing. Had the angel gone to the theologians, they would have consulted their commentaries. Had He gone to the elite, they would have looked around to see if anyone was watching. Had He gone to the successful, they would have first looked at their calendars.
So He went to the shepherds. Me who didn’t have a reputation to protect or an ax to grind or a ladder to climb, Men who didn’t know enough to tell God that angels don’t sing to sheep, and that messiahs aren’t found wrapped in rags and sleeping in a feed trough.
A small cathedral outside Bethlehem marks the supposed birthplace of Jesus. Behind the altar in the church is a cave, a little cavern lit by silver lamps. You can enter the main edifice and admire the ancient church. You can also enter the quit cave where a star embedded in the floor recognizes the birth of the King. There is one stipulation, however. You have to stoop. The door is so low you can’t go in standing up.
The same is true of Christ. You can see the world standing tall, but to witness the Savior, you have to get on your knees.
- while the theologians were sleeping
- and the elite were dreaming
- and the successful were snoring,
the meek were kneeling. They were kneeling before the One only the meek will see. They were kneeling in front of Jesus.