the shepherds! Shepherds, whose job it is to watch through the night over the flocks of sheep, are not accustomed to excitement. Actually, they do not want excitement. What they want are quiet nights with their sheep—no wolves, no lions, perhaps only an occasional bleating of a lamb looking for his mother.
But on that night—that night, they were suddenly confronted by some sort of other-worldly being, glowing with such an intensity and emanating with such light that it illuminated the ground all around them. The shepherds fell back in terror.
What could these men have been thinking at that moment? They must have feared for their lives!
“Take the sheep! Take everything! Just leave us alone!”
But that was not the purpose of this “alien.” This was an angel of the Lord who had come with news, good news—great news!
“A Savior has been born to you, Christ the Lord!”
But then, just as the fears of the shepherds had been somewhat allayed, and as they were contemplating the words of the angel, at the announcement of the birth of the Savior, a great multitude of heavenly beings suddenly appeared along with the one who had made the announcement. This multitude sang such a song of praise to God that the whole country-side reverberated with their music.
Then, when their song of praise was completed, almost as quickly as they appeared, they departed. The angels ascended back into heaven.
The shepherds must have stood in silent shock for some good long moments, wondering about what had just occurred—and if it indeed had occurred. Perhaps they imagined it.
Finally one spoke: “Did… you see… what I saw?”