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 countryside reverberated with their music.
Then, when the angels' 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?”
Then another: “I was hoping someone else would speak first. I was afraid I was going mad.”
After that, everyone began speaking at once. “Did you see these hills, how they were covered with all the angels singing?”
“What about how they shone with light that illuminated the entire pasture?”
“I thought I might go blind!”
“Have you ever heard such beautiful singing? The air was filled with their song!”
Then, as the shepherds began to again get their feet back on the ground, they remembered the purpose of it all. It was the message of the first angel: “A Child had been born in Bethlehem—the Christ child, the Savior.”
The shepherds now excitedly began speaking to one another. “Let’s go! Let’s go into Bethlehem and find the baby so that we can worship Him. The messenger angel told us that we could find him in a manger and wrapped in swaddling cloths.”