And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.
Comment: It is great to hear of a magnificent announcement and choral presentation being made on a mountainside under the canopy of a glorious sky. Announced in private to His parents by Gabriel, here we see him presented very publicly as good news for the whole world. Sin and rejection of God had made a Saviour necessary and here we hear the announcement – A Saviour, the Christ (Messiah) of God, can be found wrapped in some linen strips probably with animals in the house but, in spite of the countryside very simple birthing, here lies the Incarnate God, at the commencement of a Saving Mission.
The shepherds didn’t need to be forced to go – they sped to see the great ‘I AM’ wrapped in helpless baby flesh.
Prayer: May I be as glad to spread this good news as the shepherds were, O God.