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 that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord….So [the shepherds] hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child (Luke 2:8-11,16-17)
You just discovered a piece of earth-shattering news. You pull open Twitter or Instagram to share it, but you know you’re going to need some help to spread the message. Who will you tag in your post? @CNN? @POTUS? @TaylorSwift13? If the news is religious in nature, maybe you’ll tag @Pontifex or @YouVersion?
Those would all be logical choices. But you probably wouldn’t tag a farmer with a dozen followers who hasn’t logged into his Twitter account in years. But that’s basically who the angels share the “good news” of Christmas with first—shepherds—one of the lowliest vocations of that time.
Then some 30-odd years later, we see Jesus doing the same thing. When he kicked off his public ministry, Jesus didn’t enlist the help of Pharisees or other religious professionals to help him spread the gospel of his kingdom. Instead, he called fishermen and tax collectors.
What’s my point? While God certainly spreads the gospel through pastors and “full-time missionaries” today, he also—dare I say primarily—spreads it through you and me, regular believers working as entrepreneurs, accountants, zookeepers, artists, politicians, and mechanics.
Ever since the angels appeared in the shepherds’ field, God has made it crystal clear that the work of proclaiming the gospel is not reserved for religious professionals. It is the call of everyone who believes.
So as we look to the New Year, don’t wait for a missions trip to see yourself as a missionary. Like the shepherds, embrace your work today—whatever that work is—as a vehicle for sharing the good news that a “Savior has been born!”