And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them and the glory of the Lord shown around them, and they were greatly afraid. Luke 2:9

Imagine what it would’ve been like to be one of these shepherds. You’re out there in the field watching over the sheep. Perhaps it was lambing season, or maybe it was mating season…either way, the shepherds were required to oversee, guide, protect, and assist the sheep.

Were the shepherds gathered around a crackling fire, trying to stave off the creeping cold?

Were they guzzling cup after cup of campfire coffee trying to keep their heavy eyelids from shutting? (Did they even have coffee then???)

Or, could it be there was howling nearby, and the adrenaline was pumping energy and alertness through their bodies?

Whether they were dull from sleepiness or super sensitive from danger nearby, the appearing of the angel jolted them into a whole new realm of consciousness.

An angel appeared in bodily form. (Jaw-drop!)

We have no real idea of what the angel looked like, but one thing that all the angel appearances have in common is this phrase: “do not be afraid.” Obviously, this is said because the reaction every. single. time. is fear. So, if it’s the way the angel looks or the glory of the Lord shining around them, the sight is so overwhelming, the only humanly available reaction is fear. Oh, just imagine!

The birth of Jesus was both expected and unexpected. Even knowing that the Messiah would one day be born, nobody knew when it would happen, nor did anyone expect his birth announcement to be delivered to shepherds in the field, least of all the shepherds themselves.

The long-awaited promise was fulfilled.

I wonder what promise you’ve been given.

Is it a promise of destiny or provision? You know it will happen, you just don’t know when or how. Maybe years have passed, and the thrill of the promise has faded in time and unmet expectations.

Don’t lose hope! Just as suddenly as the angel appeared to the shepherds, God will fulfill His promise to you. He may or may not send an angel to announce His fulfillment, but in your heart, it will be no less grand and amazing.

The Advent of our Savior draws near. Let’s set our heart’s desire upon Him and be about our Father’s business with an attitude of anxious expectation of fulfilled promises to come.

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