In today’s parlance “privilege” is justification for treating people differently, even unfairly. It has always been true in human history that some are born into privilege due to circumstances beyond their control. It is also true that “There is no partiality with God” (Rom. 2:11). He has demonstrated this in human history.

Gaius Octavious was born into the privilege of wealth and power. In 27 BC, he became Ceasar Augustus, ruler of the Roman Empire. His conquests ushered in the “Pax Romana” or peace of Rome. Inscriptions called him “Divine Caesar and Son of God” and “Great Heavenly Savior.” Yet it was not this great historical figure that God gave the most transcendent news of all time. God was not partial to Ceasar’s accomplishments or titles. The good news came to shepherds.

“There has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). The under-privileged, hard-working men were out in the nighttime fields with their sheep. The angels surprised them with the news. “Why us?” they must have wondered. Was it because this was “good news of great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10)? It was not only for the privileged, and not just for descendants of Abraham. For all the people!

You may not have been born into privilege as commonly understood. But to embrace the truth about God coming to Earth as a babe in a manger, dying on the cross, and rising from the dead is to be born into eternal privilege in the family of God. “As many as received Him, to them he gave the right (privilege) to become children of God, even to those who believe in his name” (John 1:12). This is a life transforming faith based on your accepting the good news seriously, just as the shepherds did. Receive this as your Christmas gift! God is about equality of opportunity. “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:13). We who have done so share the privilege of the shepherds, to make known this good news of great joy!