The hymn writer tells us that it was a “silent” night, a “holy” night. But it was also a cold night, as the shepherds huddled together seeking warmth from the fire. Continue reading . . .
The hymn writer tells us that it was a “silent” night, a “holy” night. But it was also a cold night, as the shepherds huddled together seeking warmth from the fire. To them it seemed like every other night. The crackling of wood, the occasional bleating of a lamb, were the only sounds that disturbed the otherwise routine silence.
Then suddenly an angel of the Lord “appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were filled with great fear” (Luke 2:9). Unlike the shepherds, we live in an age of high-tech special effects where such happenings are a commonplace in the movies or on TV. But for these first-century peasants it was a frightening shock as the whole of heaven burst ablaze with the blinding glory of God! The Bible literally says, “they feared a great fear.” Simply put, they were scared out of their wits!
But the announcement that night was designed to evoke joy, not fear, “for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Yes, Jesus is an example for us, as well as a teacher, a counselor and a friend. But above all else he is a Savior. The joy of Christmas is not in toys and tinsel, not in gifts and goodies, but in redemption from slavery to sin. The message of the season is not frivolity and fellowship. It is the good news that One has come whose death and resurrection have set his people free from guilt and condemnation.
Such glorious news is too much for one angel to utter. There is need for a heavenly host of voices to proclaim this momentous event. “And suddenly there was w