The scene itself is also critical. It makes the perfect mental rewind:
“So me and my buddies were out in the fields watching the sheep. It was a dark, cold night; little moonlight and few visible stars. We could hear the wolves howling in the distance, which added to the creepy factor. Most shepherds didn't work at this time of year. We were the 'lucky ones' I suppose, but it was tough, smelly, long work. And fighting off hungry predators was not our favorite past time. I suppose you could say we were all a little tense. When we looked up and an angel of the Lord was standing near us, I literally thought I was going to die. I've never been so scared in all my life.”
Whether you find”camping in the wilderness” to be peaceful, creepy, or sometimes a little of both, one thing is sure—any unexpected guests would probably scare the pants off you, too. And if that unexpected visitor happens to be from another dimension, well … terrified probably doesn’t even begin to describe how you might feel! Luke 2 says that when the angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds “they were absolutely terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news’” (v. 10). Have you ever tried to get the attention of someone who was in a state of hysteria or utter panic? Yea, it was probably like that. The angel had to assure them they were safe and get them to calm down and focus. I'm sure it would have been even worse had I been one of the shepherds.
And that's how the biggest news in the history of all mankind was delivered. Not via Twitter, newspaper, or a horse-bound messenger. It was delivered by heavenly messenger to a bunch of scared, stinky shepherds who rarely ever got to hear the latest news about anything. And what exactly was this message? Simple. “Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord” (v. 11).
In other words, Jesus is here!
No matter what situation you may find yourself in, no matter how dark or depressing the nightly news of your life, God Himself has some Good News for you: Jesus is here! He’s the savior who can deliver you from evil. He’s the Christ who is anointed to give you eternal life. And He is the Lord who will guide you every step of your way if you’ll let him.
That's what I call good news. My honest prayer is that this message will mark you for all eternity.
Christmas Angels, Pt 1
Christmas Angels, Pt 2