This carol has deeply grown on me the last few years. Ever since studying the cultural relevance of shepherds, their economic hardships, and the fact that when buying my own kids a “Little People” toy nativity set we found out that the shepherds were sold separately (still marginalized in the 21st century!), I have found deep comfort in knowing that the divine showed up to them first to announce Christ’s birth.
To those struggling. To those barely making it. To those society marginalizes.
This is who God centers and places at the birth of our Savior.
"Fear not," said he for mighty dread
had seized their troubled mind
"glad tidings of great joy I bring
to you and all (humanity).
I love that my own kids remind me that the first thing angels tell people is, “Don’t be afraid.”
When I’m struggling, I find that fear is often at the wheel and driving. The God who has constantly made a way out of no way is the same presence who shows up to peasant parents and marginalized shepherds and is the same comforting presence in our lives in our low moments too — bringing glad tidings of great joy.
Where do you see glad tiding of great joy today? I promise you, what you look for you will find. Can you find signs of joy today?