By: Chad Hyatt
Reflection—v. 10, ‘to all the people’
The good news is not just for some. It is for ‘all the people.’ That the announcement is to shepherds is evidence enough of this. Contrary to Christmas pageant imagery, shepherds were considered dangerous outsiders by those who lived in homes. Could these men who slept in fields be trusted? What if they were to poach animals not in their care or steal from their neighbors? The religious elite considered them, along with other poor Israelites, to be ‘sinners.’ There was no middle class in first century Palestine. There were the very few who ‘had’ and the great many who ‘had not.’ ‘Crowds’ or ‘the people’ in Luke are just other ways of saying the ‘poor.’ That the heavenly angelic messengers would come first—and it would seem, exclusively—to shepherds with such earth-shattering good news only underscores the point that this is news for ‘all the people’—especially those
for whom genuine good news is rare. With this announcement, God begins to
re-gather a divided nation into one—eventually leaping the borders—walled or
not—of any one particular nation in order to include everyone of us who will hear it.
God, no one is left out of your love; open our hearts as wide as yours.