“But the angel said to them, ‘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; he is Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’” Luke 2:10-12
Let’s think about angels for a minute. At Christmas time, we see angels in nativity displays. They are usually beautiful with gentle smiling faces, dressed in lovely attire and adorned with gossamer wings. We see choirs of angels for Christmas decor and many times they are portrayed as children. I once heard someone describe cherubs as the little baby angels that fly around the throne of God.
But wait, is that true?
Have you ever noticed that often when angels appear in the Bible, they begin with these words: “Don’t be afraid”? Have you ever wondered why that is?
Cherubim and seraphim show up throughout Scripture. It is cherubim that stand at the entrance of the Garden of Eden brandishing a flaming sword. It is seraphim in Isaiah 6 who are around the throne of God and their voices cause the doorposts and thresholds to shake. So, it’s no wonder the shepherds were afraid. The word in verse 9 is actually terrified. The shepherds were really scared.
But even though angels are fearsome creatures, often they shared something amazing. It was certainly the case with the shepherds. An angel interrupted the darkness of the night sky with good news of great joy. The Savior, Messiah, had come.