“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]
Today...a Savior has been born to you...
An angel of the Lord came to the shepherds at night, and a bright, glorious light shone all around them. As they recoiled in terror, the angel comforted them and broke the good news. It was good tidings of great joy for all the people. That very day, in nearby Bethlehem, a Bay had been born. This Baby was a Savior, who is Christ the Lord! First, He is a Savior, which is expressed in His name, Jesus. Then He is Christ, the Anointed of God, the Messiah of Israel. Finally, He is the Lord, God manifest in the flesh.
How would the shepherds recognize Him? The angels gave them a twofold sign. First the Baby would be wrapped in swaddling clothes. The second part of the sign was that He would be lying in a manger. It is doubtful that the shepherds had ever seen a baby in such an unlikely place. This dignity was reserved for the Lord of life and glory when He came into our world. It makes our minds dizzy to think of the Creator and Sustainer of the universe entering human history not as a conquering military hero, but as a little Babe. Yet this is the truth of the Incarnation.
Suddenly a multitude of the heavenly host appeared, praising God. As soon as the angels departed, the shepherds hurried to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and Jesus lying in a manger. They gave a complete report of the angel’s visit, causing considerable surprise among those who had gathered in the stable.But Mary had a deeper understanding of what was going on; she treasured all these things, and knowingly pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned to their flocks, overjoyed at all they had heard and seen, and overflowing in their worship of God.