Who told the story today? (Shep, the shepherd)
Where did the shepherd find baby Jesus? (lying in a manger in a barn)
What is so special about Jesus? (Jesus is God's son.)
Read: Luke 2:8-20
God could have chosen anyone to be the first to hear about the birth of Jesus. So, his choice of shepherds reveals something about God. Shepherds were not old men looking out at the rolling hills and the sheep, speaking wisdom. Bible scholars think the shepherds God chose were much younger, teenagers probably. They had no education, and a humble future of shepherding in front of them. So, in characteristic style, we see God using the weak to lead the strong.
Over and over again in the Bible, and especially in the Christmas story, we see this theme. The big message is that God’s kingdom is different. His kingdom is backwards and upside down from the way we think things work. God’s kingdom is one where the young matter. The insignificant matter. The poor matter. The people everyone else labels as “dirty” matter.
This is amazing truth. It means that no matter our status, our age, our ability, we all matter to God. So even in times when we believe that we’re not enough, that we don’t have what it takes, or that we’re too young or old or insignificant to make a difference in this world, those are exactly the moments when we can remember the shepherds. Then we can realize that it is precisely our inadequacies, our inexperience, our insignificance that makes us matter—maybe even matter more.
For the kids we see each week in Summit, this is an astoundingly powerful message. We all matter. They matter—maybe even more. God’s choice to tell the Good News to shepherds first reveals that God delights to save even the most marginalized people into the goodness of his kingdom. God sent Jesus to be born for all of us and he is enough for all of us. We all matter to him.
Read these scriptures and write down the truth of who you are to God. Here are some examples: I am valuable (Psalm 139, Matthew 10:31). I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). I am forgiven (1 John 1:9) My past holds no power over me. God is working in me and has a purpose for my life (Philippians 2:13).
Read these truths out loud. Pray and thank God for the way he sees you and then commit to seeing yourself and others in truth.