Are we spreading the word about Jesus, like the shepherds who were the very first to give witness of him? They were told by an angel that a Savior, the long awaited Messiah was born. They were told where they could find him and how they would recognize him — in Bethlehem, wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in an animal’s feeding trough.
God chose shepherds, one of the humblest of occupations at the time, to be the news media of the day to spread the word about God becoming one of us through the cooperation of an unknown teenage girl in a remote area of the world in the most humbling of circumstances.
“When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” (Luke 2: 17-18)
We can only imagine the reaction of Mary and Joseph to having some shepherds, complete strangers, visit them and share a story that confirmed what they, too, had been told by an angel – that the son born to Mary was the son of God, Savior and Messiah.
The news of a savior of the world being born is of course pretty amazing stuff. The good news the Shepherds first proclaimed 2000 years ago is just as important to the world today as it was then. A savior has been born! The creator has become one of his created! An anointed one has come and is present to reconcile God and humankind, and humankind with one another. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, this savior offers to dwell in us, to be present to us and enable us to be and bring his presence to the people and circumstances in our lives.
Like the shepherds, we may consider ourselves unlikely heralds that Jesus is still present in the world today. He is present to all who accept his offer to dwell in them. Like the shepherds, we also have the opportunity to spread the word about Jesus in what we have seen, heard, and experienced.
Are we spreading the word by our witness and how we live that Jesus Christ is present in the world today through us? It is part of God’s plan for us. All who hear and see his love, peace and joy through us will be “amazed!”