And there were shepherds ...
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” -Luke 2:8-12 NLT
I wonder what the glory of the Lord looked like as it encompassed the shepherds? I can understand why they would have been terrified. Yet the message that the angels spoke to them had to be even more amazing than that. How could it be possible that "the Messiah, the Lord" would come as a baby? And how strange it was to hear that such a birth would happen in a stable? I can almost hear the questions running through the minds of the shepherds.
It is interesting how angels first announced the birth of the Messiah to nameless people working the night shift on a hillside in Israel. The heavenly beings could have come to more prominent and more religious people but they chose keepers of sheep to visit. I think that it teaches us that, from the very beginning, God had chosen to reveal himself to humble men and women. It seems that people like these shepherds are often ones who respond best to the Lord.
Help us to hear that message again dear Lord. Help us to embrace the good news of the birth of the baby Jesus.