“That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened but the angel reassured them “Don't be afraid!” he said “ I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The Saviour – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David! And this is how you will recognise him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!” Suddenly the angel was joined by a vast host of others – the armies of heaven – praising God: “Glory to God, in the highest heaven and peace on earth to all whom God favours” Luke 2: 8-14
If I could have been at any event in the bible, I would choose this moment. To see the skies full of the armies of heaven and to hear them burst into rapturous praise and worship, unable to contain their sheer amazement and joy that such a wonderful moment in history has finally arrived: their Heavenly Lord stepping onto the world stage to redeem and rescue His people! And then we slowly get a sense of God's heart orchestrating and planning this whole event as they begin to proclaim this amazing great news to a bunch of lowly, humble nobodies – shepherds.
Not only was the job of a shepherd a very undesired one, but it also seems significant that this group of undesirables were outside the village, continuing the theme that God loves to reach out to any who are far away, regardless of their circumstances.
This reminds me of a time when a Slovakian girl called Suzanna who worked as an au-pair in England once joined us on team. As we were visiting one of the brothels one night we met a girl called Denisa who was also Slovakian. Suzanna and Denisa began to chatter away and we soon discovered that Denisa had not been working in the brothel very long and hadn't yet taken any clients. She told us she was really nervous about it and unsure whether she should. Suzanna gently challenged her as she questioned the effect it may have on her view of relationships and sexuality and then asked her what her dream job would be. Denisa told us her ideal job would be to work as an au-pair in England! Suzanna was able to give her loads of advice and help about how to go about this and shared some contacts with her. They stayed in touch and four days later Denisa left the brothel, having never taken a client.
It blew our minds that God could see a Slovakian girl sitting in a brothel whose heart secretly wanted to be an au-pair and so he sent her a Slovakian girl who was an au-pair who could tell her exactly how to do it!! A lowly girl in a lowly job with an almighty huge army of heaven on her side and a Heavenly Lord who didn't mind going “outside the village” to reach in and rescue.
Challenge: Look for ways to step out for God and he will blow your mind with what he can and will do through you! Let's not be boring but remember we follow a God of adventure who wants to adventure with us!