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And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
Read Luke 2:8-14

Let us not allow the familiarity of the Christmas story involving the shepherds to numb our hearts to the absolute wonder of God’s grace. In the narrative, there are several points of which we need to take note. First, in the presence of the angels, the shepherds moved from the dark coldness of night into the brilliant light of God’s glory (Luke 2:8-9). In the proclamation of the good news, the shepherds traded in their “great fear” for “great joy” (2:9-10). The great joy is a response to the good news of Jesus Christ, good news “for all the people” (2:10,14).

May our thoughtful reflection on this narrative warm our often-cold hearts. His salvation moves us from the darkness of sin into the glorious light of His righteousness! His salvation moves us from being outcast peasants in fear to experiencing the riches of joy in fellowship with God.

In what ways has believing the gospel moved you from fear to joy?