Once more, let’s go to that hillside outside of Bethlehem. Jesus is in the manger in the stable with Mary and Joseph, just hours old. The shepherds are quietly tending their sheep. It is late. The sky is dark except for the brilliance of the stars against the black velvet sky. It was an ordinary night.
Then….suddenly…..there was a brilliance that lit up the night! Luke says it was "the glory of the Lord". The "glory of the Lord" was the Shechinah Glory….the visible manifestation of the invisible God! It was the same Shechinah Glory that had led the children of Israel out of Egypt in a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. It was the same Shechinah Glory that Moses had witnessed on Sinai when he went for the tablets of stone. "The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel" Ex. 24: 17.
Lowly Jewish shepherds…the lowest of the low…….were visited by the Shechinah Glory!! The Lord had a message to reveal and they would be the first to hear. Can you imagine their faces? What was going through their minds? We know it was fear for the angel of the Lord said "Fear not". Maybe they thought they had accidentally let a blemished lamb get by. Maybe they thought since they were of such low report, that God was going to annihilate them. In a moment like that, witnessing such a sight, I’m sure all kinds of things were running through their minds. But nothing…absolutely nothing…could have prepared them for the announcement that was to be made to them!
"Fear not", the angel said "for I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you…you shall find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." Luke 2: 10-12. Don’t be afraid. Isn’t that just like God? He wanted to put them at ease and let them know that He was bringing them good news….no…not just GOOD news…but news of GREAT JOY!! And notice…who that news was for………
Just the Jews? No.
Just the Shepherds? No.
Just the rabbis? No
Just the wealthy? No
Just the Gentiles? No
Just those of Bethlehem? No
No…it was good news of GREAT JOY for ALL people!!!!!!!!! That includes YOU and ME!! The angel of the Lord brought a message on that beautiful starry night to a group of lowly Jewish shepherds, BUT it was news for YOU and ME!!!!!! Have you heard the Good News? (If you would like to talk to someone about this GOOD NEWS, please call 1-888-NEEDHIM. )