By CTA - Christ to All
Middle school is tough. No longer little kids but not quite teenagers, “tweens” are stuck between two worlds. Bridging that gap can be confusing and lonely as they try desperately to fit in and find their place. The Christmas story is a wonderful example of God’s love and acceptance that gives an anchor of peace. From peasant shepherds to foreign Wise Men, all are invited to Jesus’ side and given a place to belong.
Have you ever felt really bored? Maybe on a weekend when you didn’t have any plans or during a school break when you didn’t have any friends around? Or maybe during recess if no one else wanted to hang out with you that day? It’s normal to feel lonely when you are just sitting around being bored. You aren’t the only one who can feel that way.
Getting to the Heart
Imagine the life of a shepherd in ancient times. You’d have to watch over sheep and make sure they stayed safe—for hours and hours. At night you’d be a watchguard, just sitting around outside, waiting to see if any danger came. Shepherds didn’t have a very exciting life. They weren’t considered important or powerful. They didn’t “fit in” with kings or rich rulers.
Now imagine you are an ancient shepherd sitting around watching your boring sheep sleeping one night when suddenly the dark night sky explodes with light! Angels appear out of nowhere and one starts talking to you! The angel says there is good news: God has sent Someone to save the world! At first you might think this angel is talking about a powerful warrior or a new king, but then you hear that if you want to see the Savior, you need to look for a little baby. When real-life angels brought this news to real-life shepherds at the first Christmas, those shepherds were so excited they ran all around town to find the baby. It wasn’t a boring night any longer. It was the best day ever!
It was an exciting day for the shepherds, but it must have been a little confusing too. Why would God show his power and glory in a tiny baby? Why would he choose to tell shepherds first? It all seems backward! It would make sense for a savior to be a warrior or powerful king. It would make sense if the first people to know would be powerful and important, but God doesn’t always do things that make sense to the world. He transforms the world by choosing people who are lonely and weak to be his messengers of good news.
The Savior he sent was born in a stable and grew up to suffer and die. That Savior’s death and resurrection for us is what made Christmas into the Best. Day. Ever. God’s gift of salvation, powerful and mighty for us, didn’t need to come in a show of power and might. His message didn’t—and still today doesn’t—depend on people of worldly status in order to be heard.
Sometimes you might feel like your life is boring and that you are nothing special. The world will tell you that to be important you have to be popular or smart or talented or rich. Romans 12:2 (ESV) says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed.” God’s love transforms you from the inside out. Through faith in Jesus you are God’s forgiven and loved child. That identity is what makes you important and special. When you feel lonely or think you just don’t fit in, think of the shepherds. God chose people that the world considered unimportant to be the first to hear of Jesus’ birth. God chose them to share the news of the Best. Day. Ever.
Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is slightly adapted from the Ministry Message for the Best. Day. Ever. line of products.
You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2020 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.
Editor’s note: When you feel lonely or think you just don't fit in, think of the shepherds. God chose people that the world considered unimportant to be the first to hear of Jesus' birth. God chose them to share the news of the Best. Day. Ever.
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