This is the second part of the article I did on the revised story of Christmas.
The shepherds play a large part in the story of Christmas. First, shepherds are symbolic of Jesus leading the church. Second, shepherds were one of the lowest professions in Israel. They were unclean and kind of rough. God specifically spoke to them to show that the Messiah came for everyone of every class.
The shepherds also play an interesting role. First, they confirm the birth of Jesus. Anyone can make a claim of something, but unless it is verified it usually doesn't stand. They were given a sign by the angels of what to look for. Look for a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes laying in a manger. This tells the shepherds that Jesus was born to a poor family because poor families wrapped their newborns in swaddling clothes and used mangers for baby beds. This also told them where to look for the child. They would look amongst the houses of the regular people of Bethlehem. It is interesting to note that if Jesus would've been born in a stable the shepherds, out of the responsibility of hospitality, would've taken Joseph, Mary, and their new baby home with them to be cared for by their own wives. The fact that they left Jesus where He was meant that He was well taken care of.
The second thing that the shepherds did was to make Jesus' birth widely known. As soon as they left they spread the word of the birth and what the angels had told them. Because shepherds are hard working simple people, they could be taken for their word. God used simple people to spread the word. We see that when we encounter God and He changes us so that we are moved to tell other people about it. This season have you been touched by God. If not clear out all the clutter, set aside some free time, take your Bible and get alone, then ask God to speak to you. He will be faithful I am sure.