Several years ago, as I was picking up the living room, I found something quite surprising. I noticed several new visitors to our children’s manger set. A group of elephants had come to pay their respects. Off to the right were various dinosaurs, which traversed from more than afar to worship the new-born King.
In front was Thomas the Tank Engine with several of his engine buddies. In expanding, concentric circles was a conglomeration of representatives from just about every toy family we had, including the little, green, three-eyed alien from the movie, “Toy Story.” As I examined the scene, I wondered, “What are they all doing there?”
This question can really be posed to all in the account. Shepherds were considered some of the lowest of the Jewish pecking order; nomadic wanderers, who were counted as thieves and as ritually unclean. Much later, the Magi, outsiders by both race and profession, encounter the Christ and believe.
What are they doing there? Responding to the “good news of great joy for all people” (Luke 2:10) that God in grace has flung open wide the gates to the kingdom of God, even to shepherds and to the Magi. The wonder of the Christmas story is that all are welcomed to encounter the Christ and believe. There is room for shepherds, Magi, and for you.