Fear not, for behold I bring you good news of great joy which shall be to all people. (Luke 2:10)
I do love this story, everything about it.
I love to think of the shepherds in the fields outside Bethlehem that dark, dark night, standing around passing the time with idle chatter. Farm boys can tell you it gets mighty dark away from the city lights. Was there a chill in the air too?
Suddenly, the sky is ablaze with light, as though Heaven’s floodlights had been switched on. Furthermore, someone was standing in the thin air perhaps 50 feet away. The radiance emanating from him indicated he was an angel.
No wonder the angel began his soliloquy as they always seemed to: Fear not! Who wouldn’t fear?
The shepherds heard those words, but it’s one thing to be told not to be afraid and another one altogether to stop your knees from knocking and your teeth from chattering. Restarting your heart is another matter altogether.
Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: you will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger. (Luke 2:10-12)
There it is–the best news that has ever been delivered at one place in one short paragraph.
The angel called it “good news.” And so it is. The best ever.