The Gift of Worth

When Jesus was born, God didn't choose to announce his birth in the Roman praetorium or at Herod's palace or even in the Temple. In fact, there seems to be no record of any public announcement at all. Instead, the birth of Jesus was announced to shepherds who were protecting their sheep from predators and poachers in the middle of the night.

Why shepherds?

Everything about Jesus challenges our established thoughts, practices, and prejudices. We live in a world that seems to belong to the great and powerful, but the birth of Jesus was first announced to those who weren't thought of very highly at all. The shepherds were with all "those people" who were on the lowest rung of the social ladder. They were poor, living a hermit's life, especially when the fields were right for grazing. They were smelly, dirty, and foul -- many of them having bad reputations. Additionally, they weren't really welcome in the Temple or synagogue because their line of work made them ceremonially unclean.

So it was this bunch that God first invited to come and worship the newborn Son of God. To the world, they were outsiders -- but not to God. "Look at what great love the Father has lavished on us that we get to be called the sons of God!" [1 John 3:1].

You may feel like you are one of billions of nameless faces in this world, and you may be convinced that you don't count for much, but God considered your worth and sent us Jesus. If the nativity doesn't show us just how much the Father thinks of us, then we need look no further than the cross.

You have worth in God's eyes -- despite your inner struggle or the actions of others. Your enemy also has worth in God's eyes -- despite your struggle with them or their actions toward you. And those disregarded by our society have worth in God's eyes -- despite society not really knowing what to do with them.

The outcasts, the broken, the poor, the meek, the enslaved, the abused, the addicted, the messed up...for you a child is born! He's also born for the healthy, the employed, the connected, and the comfortable...and even the wealthy, the celebrated, and the powerful.

"For us a child is born, and He is Christ the Lord!"

Isn't he good? Come and worship.