When the Divine Meets the Dirty

A beautiful part of the Christmas story is often read and overlooked too quickly.  It is when the divine meets the dirty.  You may know of the angelic announcement to the shepherds.

Shepherds were in the fields near Bethlehem. They were taking turns watching their flock during the night. An angel from the Lord suddenly appeared to them. The glory of the Lord filled the area with light, and they were terrified. The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, a message that will fill everyone with joy. Luke 2:8-10

I would have been afraid as well.  Out in the fields minding my own business in the middle of a dark night, a bright light shines blinding me. Immediately I can not see and then someone, not one of my fellow shepherds, begins to speak. Yes, I will be afraid.

Historically, shepherding as been a low-level position. Saying it is low-level may be putting it mildly.  It was the job no one wanted to do.  It was not for the elite, the well-to-do, nor the rich.  It wasn’t even for the middle class or lower class.  It was the job absolutely nobody wanted to get stuck with.

There primary job was taking care of dumb and dirty sheep.  Also at this time, it is believed they were to be the midwives of pregnant ewes giving birth to their lambs.  It is not exactly the cleanest job.

For days, they would lead their sheep around to green fields looking for the best nourishment. They would nap and sleep at night among their congregation. Day by day they spent more and more time away from the pristine with the dirty.

Mike Rowe, from the TV show “Dirty Jobs,” shared his most dirtiest job when asked:  replacing a valve pump at a sewage waste plant.  He said it will haunt you.  Rowe said you actually swim at one point in sewage.  For the TV show “Dirty Jobs” at Jesus’ birth, Rowe shepherding could have been his first episode.

Yet at our Savior’s birth, God sent his messengers, the angels, not to kings, rulers, the noble, nor to the aristocrats. No, He sent them to tell the shepherds. He sent them to tell the dirty, the outcast, and the rejects. He sent them to tell the nobodies and now the nobodies take center stage in the most well-known Bible story for the ages.

I thank God He loves the messy like me. He loves the dirty, the outcast and the rejects maybe like you but definitely me. He loves the nobodies and makes us somebodies in the Kingdom of God.  If you ever fall in those categories, you are in the right place for God to get.

You may be at a place in your life which, like Mike Rowe’s dirties job, sewage swimming, may be haunting you.  Be encouraged.  He loves the sewage swimmers of life.  He loves those who are doing the dirty jobs.  He loves you and wants to make a personal visit to you this Christmas season and shine a bright light in your darkness.  Don’t be afraid.  It is only Jesus!


Here are other post to enjoy this Christmas season regarding Jesus and the His birth.

The Art of Pondering and Treasuring

Christmas Brings Remembrance of my Favorite Person of the Bible

Joseph: From One Adoptive Father About Another

The Second Impressive Thing Mary Did

Jesus, the With Me God

6 thoughts on “When the Divine Meets the Dirty

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