And 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 that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.’”

Luke 2:8-11

The long-awaited day is here! In this verse we see that the shepherds are going about their life and duties, when the most amazing thing happened. An angel appeared with an important message, and they were the first to hear the good news! For 700 years since Isaiah first prophesied the coming of the Messiah, the people of God have been anxiously waiting for the Messiah to come. The Good News that they have been waiting on in faith for generations has finally arrived.

Can you imagine what the shepherds were feeling at this moment? Afraid? Overwhelmed? Overjoyed? Relieved? Honored? They were considered societal nobodies, just ordinary people who worked outside and smelled like sheep. Despite this, they were chosen to become the first messengers of God’s good news.

In the Christmas song “O Holy Night,” the second line says: “Long lay the world, in sin and error, pining. ’Til He appeared, and the soul felt its worth.” This line is so amazing! It is in the moment that Jesus is born, when He appears in the world, that our soul recognizes it’s worth. How wonderful that God would become flesh for us–to exchange heaven for earth and endure hardship, pain, loss and all this broken world offers. But He came for us! God’s great love sent Jesus for our sake because we are His beloved.

Father God, we are filled with such joy on this Christmas day knowing that you brought to us the best gift of all–Jesus! Thank you for your great love for us and for sending your Son to redeem us. We are filled with such joy over the good news of Christ!