Christmas For Misfits, Nobodies, Ragamuffins, And Losers

Text: Luke 2:15-20

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Amen.

God sure has a pattern of choosing misfits, nobodies, ragamuffins, and losers in carrying out His work, does He not?  For example, the Lord God claimed Israel, a slave nation in the Book of Exodus, to be His people.  He chose David, a shepherd, to be a King.  In the New Testament He called several dumpy fishermen and a tax collector to be His closest followers – Peter, Matthew, Andrew, James, and so forth.  He also called a zealot Pharisee who was doing his best to stamp God’s church right out of existence – the Apostle Paul. 
Now, contrary to popular opinion and staying consistent with His pattern of choosing, misfits, nobodies, ragamuffins, and losers, God did not announce the birth of the Christ Child to the great theologians of the synagogues or the prestigious priests in the temple.  Instead, the Lord does the exact opposite. The announcement of Jesus’ birth is given to the least likely people in the land - to shepherds.  Yes, add shepherds to God’s list of misfits, nobodies, ragamuffins, and losers.  Indeed, the message of the Son of God coming from heaven above to earth is given to not theologians in the synagogues or the priests in the temple, but scruffy shepherds out in a field. 

Keep in mind that these shepherds had nothing special about them.  They were a rough bunch, working a manual labor job with little pay.  They were most likely known as being religiously inconsistent with their piety.  However, God’s Word comes to these rough shepherds through His messenger – the Angel of the Lord.

Now, typically when angels visit humanity, humanity is struck with fear and terror.  Who would not be afraid of a mighty Angel of the Lord – God’s warriors?  And that is exactly what we see with the shepherds; they are scared stiff.  The brilliance of light signaled the glory and presence of God, and the shepherds were filled with fear.  But instead of striking the shepherds down with power and might, the angel announced the grand news of Christmas,

 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” 

In case we move over this too quickly, we must pause and understand how grand, how powerful, and how magnificent this news is.  It is kind of a big deal.  It makes all the difference in the world…  The Son of God was born and is now human.  Jesus has endured the nine months of pregnancy and now, this day in the city of David, the Savior for all of mankind was born.  This baby is no ordinary baby but is really God in human flesh.  God coming to mankind!  Yes, the Son of God was born, He cried, He became tired, and He would hunger, thirst, bled, die, and rise.  This baby is the Christ who will suffer, die, and rise from the dead on the third day.  This child is God come in the flesh to do the gritty, bloody, sacrificial work that we cannot do – the work of taking away sin. 

This Christ Child was not born to climb to the highest and fanciest glories of mankind, but came for the sin-sick world.  He came to and for Israel, David, Peter, Matthew, Paul, the Shepherds, and for you. 

Dear friends, because of sin, everything we do and say and think is stained and unclean.  No matter how noble and good we have tried to be, we have failed.  Our sinful nature makes our whole life unrighteous and so we find ourselves in the midst misfits, nobodies, ragamuffins, and losers. 

Ah, but take comfort this day.  Jesus came not to keep His life to Himself.  He came to share it with you.  Everything He has done was done for you, in your place. 

Like the shepherds, we are not people of a prestigious birth.  Most of us are common folks who live quiet and peaceable lives here in rural North Dakota.  However, God has decided to make the announcement of Jesus to you through pastors, parents, other Christians, and in this church service today.  Indeed, the Lord announces to you this day that a Savior was born for you and me. 

You have heard this on the highest authority that Christ was born – for you.  Christ was born for sinners.  He was born for misfits, nobodies, ragamuffins, and losers.  He was born to join you and love you.  He was born to go to Mt. Calvary and win forgiveness for you in His death and resurrection.

Because of Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection, your life is right.  You are declared righteous in the sight of Jesus, the one who was born unto you. 

And so, this day, with the shepherds we glorify and praise God for all that has been done, heard, and seen.  Everything that we heard last night about the birth of Christ places us right alongside the shepherds.  And as we hear this great news of Jesus’ birth, we are then granted the opportunity to sing praises to the Lord God for the great gift of the Savior.  We get to sing ‘with’ the shepherds the meaning of the Savior’s birth for all the world.  It is rather contagious!  The shepherds immediately broadcast and share what they have heard and seen, and we cannot help but do the same this day!   

Truly, we glorify God this Christmas Day with the shepherds knowing that God is well pleased with us in Christ – that a Savior has been born unto us.

We glorify God this day that at a real time, in a real Bethlehem, there was a real birth of a real human being, and that human being is our real Savior, a Savior who rescued us from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with gold or silver, but with His holy precious blood and His innocent suffering and death. 

This is the real Savior whose birth we celebrate today. 

In the name of Jesus: Amen.

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