The night had begun as any other night. Shepherds watched their flocks of sheep on the hillsides near the little town of Bethlehem. They talked together about the special promise that God had made years before, the promise that a new King would come to earth. How frightened the shepherds had been when the angel came! But how thrilled they became when they heard the angel’s message. “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; . . . You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10-12, NIV).
Then hundreds more angels had joined the one until the sky glowed. The air rang with their song:
“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth, peace to all people.”
Then their light had faded away back into the heavens. Farther and farther, smaller and smaller, grew the shining choir until they looked like just another star in the dark sky. Once again it was a quiet night. The shepherds turned to one another.
“I think it is true,” said one.
“I think we should see for ourselves,” said another.
“I agree,” said a third. “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened.”
So they hurried off to Bethlehem. “In a manger,” the angel had said. Every shepherd knew a manger would be found in a barn or a stable, a place where animals were kept.
And there in the night they found Mary and Joseph, with Baby Jesus lying in a manger, just as the angel had said. They thought of the angel’s words, “A Savior has been born.” The shepherds knew this baby had come from God. Quietly they knelt and worshipped the child.
Soon the shepherds left to go back to their sheep, praising God for all they had heard and seen. On the way, they told everyone they met about seeing Jesus, the Savior of the world.
The shepherds talked about that night for a long time, telling all who would listen about the Baby Jesus they found in a manger.
Mary and Joseph were amazed! Mary knew she would always remember the shepherds’ visit. And as Jesus grew up, she would tell Him about that night.