When passenger ships were powered by huge sails a long time ago, they carried a passenger list with the names written down according to the social pecking order. First were the royalty and the wealthy. The list acknowledged their status and position. However, at the bottom of the list was the remaining number of persons with the notation "Persons of no importance." From a human perspective there have always been persons of no importance, but from God’s perspective there are no such persons. The Christmas Story is a reminder of God’s wonderful invitation to nobodies that he considers them important.
The night that Jesus was born in the obscure village of Bethlehem none of the important players of the Roman Empire or of the land of Israel were present. Joseph and Mary were poor. They had no suitable quarters to stay in. In fact, only a stable, which was likely a cave, was provided for them. It was here that Mary gave birth to her son Jesus and wrapped him in strips of cloths.
Mighty angels were immediately dispatched from heaven to give an invitation to a “bunch of Nobodies” to be the first guests to visit the King of the Jews. Luke describes the event like this:
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:8-20).
The shepherds responded enthusiastically to the angel’s announcement and went to see the baby Jesus. Then they told everyone they met about Jesus and the angel’s visit. They were changed for what they saw and experienced that night. They were the first to announce this story to the world. God used “nobodies” to announce this message.
It is amazing that God allowed the Shepherds to first see his son. They were the first to bow and worship the Christ-child. They were first to be amazed in his presence. This was not an accident, but rather it was a message to all generations that God’s son had come for the nobodies of this world.
Have you ever felt like a nobody? Maybe you sometimes feel your life is unimportant, or maybe you feel like an outcast. If you have ever struggled with being accepted, then you know a little of how the shepherds felt, because they were not accepted by society.
Just as the shepherds were important enough to God to be the first invited guests to see his newborn son, you, too, are important to God. If you have ever felt like you are not important because you haven’t accomplished great things, then you are in good company. If you have felt that you’re anonymous and nobody knows who you are, then think again because God does. When it came time for somebody to go and welcome his son, he went to your ranks. He sent his powerful angels to inform the shepherds and give them instructions of where to find his son. He gave that privilege to them.
God’s methods that day were as the Apostle Paul said,
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:22-34).