“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And 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 2:8-9)
The Lord had left His people because of their continued sin. The temple had been destroyed and the people had been deported by enemies to distant lands. But God had not abandoned His people! Prophets kept emphasizing that the people should return to the Lord and that He would bring redemption. A first fulfillment of those promises was when groups of deported citizens were allowed to return to their land and even rebuild the temple. The greatest fulfillment, however, was not a building, but a Person: Jesus Christ.
One night shepherds were in the field looking after their sheep. Suddenly the heavens broke open and the glory of the Lord shone around them! They were greatly frightened, but an angel reassured them: he came to bring good news. The long-awaited Savior was born! He would bring peace. A whole cloud of angels joined the first one to praise God. It was literally dark when Jesus was born, but also figuratively. People were caught up in spiritual darkness, but then God’s glory broke through. He came to earth to bring the Light.
Has God’s light broken through in your life?