Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them…. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.” Luke 2:8-10.
Angels behold the weary travelers, Joseph and Mary, making their way to the city of David to be taxed, according to the decree of Caesar Augustus. Here, in the providence of God, Joseph and Mary had been brought, for this was the place prophecy had predicted that Christ should be born. They seek a place of rest at the inn, but are turned away because there is no room. The wealthy and honorable have been welcomed and find refreshment and room, while these weary travelers are compelled to seek refuge in a coarse building which shelters the dumb beasts.
Here the Savior of the world is born. The Majesty of glory, who filled all heaven with admiration and splendor, is humiliated to a bed in a manger. In heaven He was surrounded by holy angels, but now His companions are the beasts of the stall. What humiliation is this! …
As there are none among the children of humanity to herald the advent of the Messiah, angels must now do that work which it was the honored privilege of human beings to do….
Humble shepherds, who are guarding their flocks by night, are the ones who joyfully receive their testimony…. They do not at first discern the myriads of angels that are congregated in the heavens. The brightness and glory from the heavenly host illuminate and glorify the entire plain….
The shepherds are filled with joy, and as the bright glory disappears and the angels return to heaven, they are all aglow with the glad tidings and hasten in search of the Savior. They find the infant Redeemer, as the celestial messengers had testified, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in the narrow confines of a manger.
The events which had but just transpired have made indelible impressions upon their minds and hearts, and they are filled with amazement, love, and gratitude for the great condescension of God to the human family in sending His Son into the world.—The Review and Herald, December 17, 1872.