Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.
1 Corinthians 1:27-28
Shepherds were dirty, smelly, and perhaps a little uncouth. That is, they may not have been the most socially acceptable citizens of Bethlehem. Yet as they watched their flocks by night, God saw fit to give the lowly shepherds a spectacular invitation to see the Holy One. Not just one angel, but a heavenly host appeared to the shepherds with the grand announcement of the Savior’s birth.
The world may have looked down on shepherds, but not God. He honored them with the announcement of Jesus’ birth and Jesus later referred to himself as a shepherd caring for the sheep. That’s the way God works. He chooses the despised, foolish, and powerless things to shame those who should know better, those who think they are wise or powerful. God deflates the things the world thinks are important. But the things the world counts as nothing, God elevates.
God turns things upside down like this so none of us can boast before God. We can’t make ourselves “good enough” for God by right living. God chooses the foolish things of the world because they are most willing to allow God to use them.
God chooses those among us who admit their brokenness. We are flawed, fragile vessels that might seem useless, but God sees our flaws as a beautiful thing. He fills us and uses us to display his power through our lives.
Paul wrote, “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves” (2 Corinthians 4:7). Broken jars seem useless, but God wants to fill our broken lives so others can see God’s great power at work. Then they, too, will give glory to God.
Lord, my life has been difficult. I bear the wounds of so many painful things. Come; fill my life with your light. Let your love and power shine through my brokenness. May your love and grace ooze all over the people around me. I know I’m messy, Lord, but if you can use my mess, then please make it a beautiful mess for your glory.
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