Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!Luke 2:9-11
The shepherds represent the idea of joy during the Christmas season, but it didn’t start that way, did it?
Over the years I’ve heard a number of people tell me what they intend to do and say when they are in God’s presence. I remember a lady who raised her fist and said she had something to say to “my God.” But, in Scripture, every person I’ve read responds in fear when in the presence of God (Moses, Isaiah, John the Apostle) or in the case of the shepherds, the angel of the Lord.
From terrified to joyful
After hearing the choir of angels, the shepherds acted on what they were told. They went to find the newborn King and then “the shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them” (Luke 2:20).
The shepherds were the very first evangelists for the Messiah. They told everyone they saw about what the angel said about the child and the people were astonished.
The message of Christ brings lasting joy to all who will listen and respond.