Imagine for a moment that you are God. Just play along with me for a second. Imagine that you are God and you are getting ready to send your Son, Jesus, into the world. You're going to send him down into the world, and this is the moment you've been waiting for ever since the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.
This is the opportunity you are looking to use to tell the world how much you love them, to reveal yourself to the world, and to lead people on a spiritual journey. This is the moment that the Law and the Prophets have been pointing to for thousands of years. It's going to change history forever. If you were God, how would you want this story to be told and who would you choose to be the messengers?
If I were God, and my children remind me every day that I'm not, I would probably put together a really sound communication plan. I would hire the top journalists and world-renowned communicators. I would schedule a really big press conference and hire a PR firm to help me get the word out. I would have a social media campaign that would be working around the clock.
Of course, I'd use the best cable channel network, which we all know is ESPN, but that's not the way God chose to tell this story, and that's not the way he went about communicating this to the world. In fact, in the gospel of Luke in chapter 2, we see God told the story in a very different way than we would have.
It tells us in the gospel of Luke, beginning in verse 8, "And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.
'Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests. 'When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about. 'So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 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.
Every year at Christmas pageants around the world, thousands of children put on bathrobes and wrap towels around their bodies to depict shepherds at the nativity scene. Shepherds are synonymous with Christmas and the birth of Jesus because they're among the first people who God told about the arrival of his Son. Why would God call on the shepherds first?
I mean, if I were in control of this communication plan, I'd probably go to more notable people in the community, people who were more recognized, who had a voice, people who were able to broadcast and transmit this message not just to their immediate community but to the ends of the world, but God came to these humble people, and he tapped them on the shoulder, and he asked them to be the ones to go see this baby that had been born and to then share this news with as many people as they could.
I wonder, as we head out Christmas, if we could step back and just be aware of the people God has brought into our lives, our friends, our spouses, our children, our neighbors, and our co-workers, to invite them into conversation, to invite them into our story, because I know...I know...God is at work in your lives. I know God is at work through you, and I know you have a story that could possibly bring great joy to someone if they heard it. I want to encourage you to let your life speak and to not be afraid of these conversations. Because after all the Word became flesh, so get out there and get some skin in the game!