No one was more excited to travel the evening of Christ’s birth than the shepherds. As the wise men, the chosen family and various travelers moved about that same evening, the shepherds “watched their flocks by night.” They were at their post. Boring jobs, low-paying work and largely unskilled laborers, most shepherds were nomadic drifters with no known address.
So when the angels confronted them in the midst of their midnight shift bringing them the greatest news that could be heard, their path to Christmas began! In all likelihood, these men were watching sheep just outside Jerusalem… not far from the birthplace of Jesus. Mary had now given birth to her Son. Joseph was no doubt scrambling to find a few things in the sparse, cattle stall where his beloved and now a newborn baby lay.
The shepherds were no doubt astounded to find such a significant child born without the comfort of a room, a decent bed or a doting family surrounding and supporting the couple. The couple and the child seemed… like them. Homeless, broke, without a decent place to lay their heads.
In fact the birth of this Child that had been trumpeted by angels looked like a birth of one of their own… outcast, lowly, unwanted by society. One who was just like one of them.
And the truth is… He was.
And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the baby, lying in a manger. Luke 2:16a
Father of the angelic host, may we like the shepherds make haste on our path to Christmas and arrive, as they did, with an awesome expectation of seeing a king. And may we also find that this King who came that night… is just like us.