The Shepherds were terrified and speechless, while the angels were amazed and praising.
Luke 2:9, “An angel of the Lord appeared to them (shepherds), and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and there were terrified.”
Luke 2:13-14 “ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
The glory of the Good News, Jesus coming to earth as a baby, had the Angels rejoicing, knowing He was bringing a life-changing message to humanity. The message brought, Peace! This peace, God’s peace, was for all people, not just for the rich and powerful, but for the poor and lowly.
At this time, Caesar Augustus was King and was hailed as the bringer of the “Pax Romana,” Roman peace. But as I have heard it said, “the absence of war doesn’t guarantee the presence of peace.” Philosopher Epictetus said, “While the emperor may give peace from war on land and sea, he is unable to give peace from passion, grief, and envy. He cannot give peace of heart for which man yearns more than even for outward peace.”
But as we read from the scriptures above, Heavenly choirs praised Jesus as his birth and praised Jesus as the bringer of true peace!
God’s divine messengers announcing to the ceremonially unclean, outcasted shepherds that evening set a precedent for how God would continue to reflect His glory on this earth. God made sure the first words said to the Shepherds were, “Do not be afraid.” Luke 2:10, But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”
We seem to find fear everywhere and then look for peace in everything. God tells us 365 times in the Bible to “fear not,” I wonder if that was intentional as a great reminder of this story. As the cliché goes:
No Jesus, No Peace
Know Jesus, Know Peace!
Lord, You are the Prince of Peace! Father God, fill us to overflow as we sit and soak on your Word of Comfort, and Strength. May we all long only for You and Your ways and with a great desire to share the Good News!