And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
Holy fear has been a natural part of Christmas from the beginning. The angel calmed their fears with the good news of great joy. Today both the fear and joy of Christmas are lost in worldliness. And the lostness is so deeply ingrained in our own hearts as well as our society. Nothing is powerful enough to break its hold upon our hearts but trembling in fearful joy over the good news of great joy that the God of the universe has come to us.