Now in that same country, through the watches of the night, there were shepherds tending their flocks. The lonely melody of the flute floated through the dark sky as a shepherd boy soothed the sheep with his song, lulling the flock into a torpid lassitude. The glittering orbs of the starlit sky winked down upon the hapless boys who looked well to their charge. As the migratory flock rested upon a bed of green grass, a stillness settled over the watch fires.
Suddenly, with tremulous power the heavens unfurled, the night sky aflame in glory. With shattering opulence, behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, His glory rebounding. In the presence of the magnificent splendor, the shepherds trembled, all their sin laid bare before them and they fell upon their faces in fear and doubt.
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, both wonderful and amazing to behold, which will be to all people.”
With trepidation, the shepherd boys lifted their eyes to look upon the messenger of the Lord. In the watchfulness of his beauty they despaired. Yet there was something in his voice which drew courage from their souls as they listened to the words spoken.
“For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord; He is the Good Shepherd foretold, the Messiah spoken of by the prophets, the anointed of the Lord; Prophet, Priest and King. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
By three tokens you shall know Him: The Babe, the swaddle, and the manger.
In this manner you shall find the Child, whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain. Amazing contrast there shall be, for it was by this birth the Savior of all has chosen to come.
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that though He was rich,
yet for your sakes He became poor,
that you through His poverty might become rich.
~2 Corinthians 8:9
For pride is the character of all the children of Adam, but humility the mark of the Son of God. By humility Christ comes to reign, for it is by these means only, one may enter into His kingdom.
Then suddenly on high, the heavenly vision all encompassing, ruptured the sky. Oh, magnificent appellation! A multitude of the heavenly host, heralds of the new-born King, descended from on high, who compass the majesty of God round and filled the air with lofty strains, “The way of peace is thrown open to all people, by reconciling the world to God by His atonement.”
The angelic beings transferring their exalted station, bent to the poor earth and with pure voices proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
And as the morning stars sang together, the foundation of man’s soul was laid; the cornerstone of man’s salvation set in the incarnation of the Son of God, inducing man to lay down the weapons of rebellion and to submit his soul to God’s redeeming love. (Albert Barnes)