“And … 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 fear. And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’” (Luke 1:8-11)
Finally, the day came when Jesus was born in human form as a baby — and the angels rejoiced.
Think for a minute what happened in heaven nine months earlier. All was well in heaven; around the throne of Jesus the angels sang and worshiped and then Jesus vanished. He disappeared. For nine whole months the angels did not see him.
Jesus was no longer in heaven. Just imagine how that felt. From the beginning of the existence of angels, Jesus was always visible to them, now he was gone. Where did he go? He was in Mary’s womb.
Many months passed until Jesus appeared again. He was found in human form as a baby “wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger;” he was born in the likeness of men.
After the angel told the shepherds about the birth of Jesus, the angel was joined by an army of angels, and they sang praises to God saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
We know little or nothing about the psychological makeup of angels nor of what brings great joy to them other than the will of God being accomplished. Maybe they find joy in knowing that Jesus came to earth to do here what he did in heaven — establish his kingdom and bring peace to all who trust him.
An ancient Christmas carol identifies the need and the promise of a coming Savior — ”O come, desire of nations, bind all peoples in one heart and mind; bid envy, strife and quarrels cease; fill the whole earth with heaven’s peace. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!”
The angel tells the shepherds and us, Emmanuel has already come, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
The Rev. David Parry, pastor at First Church of God in Seymour, 625 E. Fourth St., writes a column for The Tribune two times a month.