Why were the shepherds chosen?
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm 23:1.
God is a shepherd. We are his sheep.
You could say he had a soft spot for shepherds.
More to the point, he is happy to identify himself with them by this privilege granted to them.
Shepherds and Sage may find—
They, who have bowed untaught to Nature's sway,
And they, who follow Truth along her star-pav'd way.
Cf. CSL? He was informed sailors not generally atheists. Why not? “They have time to think.” Not talking about mere reasoning. Apprehension, reflection on reality. Mystery of existence inescapable in the quiet, above the abyss.
E.Scalia (http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2013/12/a-shepherd-i-will-remain) expands on this story with some creative licence. And makes a point of emphasising the need for the shepherds not to be too full. Some hunger leads to less sleepiness, and quicker reactions and running when predators threaten.
So, why the shepherds?
Note that while the Magi received relatively subtle astronomical signs that they had to decipher, and do not appear to have “spread the word” afterwards, the shepherds saw and heard great glory, a clear message, and then proclaimed it.
What does this have to teach us? God is more likely to reveal himself to us in quiet trust than in difficult cogitations and calculations, though he can do either. And it is often the ordinary folk rather than the intellectuals, the scholars, that God entrusts with the Gospel-message. And that is because God wants the hearers to place their trust in the message more than the messengers, and because he chooses to make the truth known through powerful experiences more than clever reasonings. For the former reveal God's omnipotence, while the latter risk catering to human pride. But whether we are more like humble shepherds or honoured wise men, all our knowledge and experience of God would be of little use unless we came to Christ. What good is revelation or reason if we refuse their call to go to him? Neither the shepherds nor the wise men refused this call. Nor should we.
seek him in the stillness,
If you want others to know God,
do what I have just said,
Sunday 26th January - Anglican Catholic Mass / Communion will be held in Taree.