While Shepherds Watched…

While shepherds watched
Their flocks by night
All seated on the ground
The angel of the Lord came down
And glory shone around
And glory shone around

God decided to let the lowly know before the mighty that Good News was just around the corner in the Christmas story.

Notice the angel didn’t show up again in the Holy of Holies as He did with Zechariah, father of John, but the King of Kings was announced to a humble group of shepherds with all the fanfare of celebration you would come to expect from a statesman with might and power!

Fear not,” he said,
For mighty dread
Had seized their troubled minds
“Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind,
To you and all mankind.”

And like most of us, when we see something of beauteous wonder, we tremble with fear.

Those shepherds were no different than us in their immediate reaction, but the carol reminds us to focus on the message, so we don’t miss the Good News!

“To you in David’s
Town this day
Is born of David’s line
The Savior who is Christ the Lord
And this shall be the sign
And this shall be the sign.”

“The heavenly Babe
You there shall find
To human view displayed
And meanly wrapped
In swathing bands
And in a manger laid
And in a manger laid.”

Here is the best part of this carol in my opinion….

The shepherds were not only told the prophecy of Messiah was coming true, but where to find Him!

And He was in their midst, within arms reach! 

Thus spake the seraph,
And forthwith
Appeared a shining throng
Of angels praising God, who thus
Addressed their joyful song
Addressed their joyful song

“All glory be to
God on high
And to the earth be peace;
Goodwill henceforth
From heaven to men
Begin and never cease
Begin and never cease!”

Not only have these shepherds just heard the Good News live from an angel, with directions of how to meet their Messiah, they are then treated to a wonder no one else recorded in the Word has ever enjoyed – a heavenly chorus of angels singing Gloria!

For not even the angels can keep from offering God His due for the arrival of Jesus. Emmanuel, God with us. The Messiah promised through the ages, present with His people.

May we too continue to proclaim the Good News this Christmas to a world full of people who need to see the Light in all His wonder!

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Historical Background:

This carol was written in 1703 by Nahum Tate (poet in residence to Queen Anne) and Nicholas Brady. This was one of the first paraphrased pieces from Scripture outside of the psalms to be sung in the Church of England.

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Author:

Just me. Blogger, writer, singer, worshiper, wife, mom, coworker, friend, daughter & child of God with a passionate, grace-soaked, hope-filled, wonder-gazing & great-full heart! Finding hope in His Presence every day because He calls me Beloved!

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