God’s choices are a wonder. The birth of Jesus is a prime example.
The first recorded visitors after Jesus’ birth were shepherds. Not kings or princes or men of wealth, but people who lived outside of regular “civilized” society. They spent their time out in the elements, watching sheep, so it seems likely to me that they were dirty and probably didn’t smell that great.
Yet God chose them, placing value on their lives. Can you imagine being one of them and having angels appear to you and announce the birth of the Messiah? The angel encouraged them to find Jesus by giving them clear direction.
The result? The shepherds went. There was risk involved. I doubt they took the entire flock into town with them, which meant that they had to leave their flocks, their livelihood, exposed to thieves or wild animals. Even if they did lead the entire flock into town, there’s risk there, too, as I suspect that the people in the town wouldn’t welcome this procession with open arms.
Either way, they risked being shunned by society, being sneered at or looked down upon, possibly even being verbally abused by the townspeople.
Then, after seeing Jesus, Luke 2:17 reveals that they went around telling people all about what had happened to them. The encounter with Jesus, even as a baby, changed them.
Maybe you, like the shepherds, feel like an outcast. Maybe you feel judged, ostracized, and unwelcome in “normal” societal circles. God has placed a call on your life; He’s chosen you for His purposes. Will you put aside what the world says you are and embrace who God says you are? Will you choose to follow Him and believe He didn’t choose you in error, even if it involves personal discomfort or risk?
Maybe you have some “shepherds” in your own life, people who feel unwanted and unwelcomed. Will you choose to be like the angels, calling them to come and see Jesus for themselves? Will you welcome them, extending the love of Jesus so that they can know their lives have value?
God has chosen each one of us. Listen for His call and be like the shepherds – respond immediately!