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 of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ 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, NIV)
Imagine the mysterious wonders of that first Christmas night.
A world-changing event, foretold for centuries, was actually happening, and only a handful of the commonest people knew it.
God Himself was becoming flesh and blood, arriving as the most helpless of creatures: a human infant.
This child had been conceived by an infinite spirit being and a young virgin, probably a teenage girl.
Imagine what the shepherds saw and heard and felt. In the blackness of a silent night in the open fields, suddenly a blazing light, a stunning message, and a sky full of angels.
But how would the shepherds recognize this “Savior…Christ the Lord”? What would make Him unique? It would be His shocking lowliness and poverty. They would find an infant, wrapped up like a newborn, lying in a feeding trough.
Imagine yourself a shepherd, on the ground, gazing out into the blackness, hearing only the night sounds.