If you use Google to look up pictures of “shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks,” you find a lot of bearded fellows with long staffs. Some look like they could be grandparents.
To this day, you will still find shepherds in the vicinity of Bethlehem and historians believe that not much has changed in the shepherding profession in the past 2,000 years. Something I heard Ray Vander Laan once say about these shepherds (and I understand he repeats it here) fascinates me: Many of them are children, often young girls.
That means some? most? all? of the people who receive the angel’s message that first Christmas are children. So then it’s children who make their way to the manger to find the newborn Messiah. And it’s children who “spread the word” about the Christ child and go about “glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen.”
I’ve known for a long time that the Holy Spirit is no respecter of age: He can use and work through anyone regardless of how old they are. So I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that the first evangelists telling others about Jesus are very likely young girls and maybe some boys, too.
This is a great time of year for children. Monica and I are looking forward to watching our children open their presents this evening after we enjoy a fun meal together. But children need not only be recipients of Christmas joy: They can join their adult sisters and brothers in Christ in spreading the Good News of Jesus’ arrival and the difference He makes in our lives and in our world.
No one is too young, immature, or inexperienced to be blessed by and to bless others with the joy of the season this Christmas. Not even you regardless of your age!