“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.” Luke 2:9
As you read Luke 2:9, try to imagine the scene as it unfolded. Picture the shepherds out in the fields on a nice, quiet, dark night. No one is around. Suddenly, there is literally an explosion of light. In fact, the word for “shone” in this verse is a word that is only used one other time in the New Testament and it refers to a light that was so bright it actually knocked a man off of his horse. The shepherds were terrified. They were literally frightened out of their minds.
The way the shepherds reacted was normal, but it wasn’t necessary. In the next verse, the angel specifically tells these shepherds they don’t need to fear. This is a sure indicator that they were devout men. They were Jewish men who were raised in Jewish homes. They didn’t have to fear God, because they revered God. We know this because of what they say in verse 15, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” The word, “thing,” means, “word.” So they said, “Let’s go see the word that has happened.” What “word” were they talking about?
They were talking about the Old Testament that they had been taught as children. Every Jewish parent taught their children the promise that one day God would send a deliverer for the Jewish people. He would send a Messiah. This angel had just said to these shepherds that what the scribes, prophets, and the Jewish nation had been looking forward to for thousands of years had now come. From the moment that Adam and Eve sinned and plunged this world into spiritual darkness, God made a promise that He would send a Savior.
These shepherds are now realizing that God has kept His promise. God has kept His Word. And they were expecting God to keep His promise. They were waiting for it. They didn’t know when, they didn’t know where, and they didn’t know how but they lived in a daily expectation that God would keep His promise and send a Messiah.
Likewise, we should get up every morning expecting God to show up in our lives…expecting God to lead us, to guide us, to direct us, and to walk beside us. Everywhere we go, we should go, believing that God goes with us. Do you remember the name they gave Jesus? Immanuel – God with us. God is not just with us on Christmas; God is with us every day.
Application: Are you expecting God’s presence each day?