In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Luke 2:8 NRSV
Even if we know nothing about shepherds, this one verse speaks volumes about their influence and stance in society. Living in the fields means that they are pretty much homeless, or should be considered nomads without a permanent type of shelter. They are manual laborers with terrible hours: their blue-collar job is 24/7. And it is a dangerous occupation of protecting sheep from wild animals and other dangers. Thinking about our own economic system in the states, this sounds like the kind of job an illegal alien might take. Who else would want it?
A bigger question, however, is why do these powerless down-and-outers show up during God’s own entrance into the world? They aren’t important, they don’t have any influence, they aren’t going to be big monetary contributors, they aren’t particularly religious and the probably don’t even own any Sunday-type clothes. Yet, God invites them to the biggest birthday event ever. Perhaps this means that God really does care about the poor, the least and the lost. Do we do the same?
God, forgive us for caring more for those who have power, influence, money and prestige. Help us to share your love for those who have the least. Amen.
Copyright 2008 Amelia G. Sims