And in the same region 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 great 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. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
Luke 2:8-12 (ESV)
The first people to hear the Advent message were shepherds, a group considered in the culture of that day to be untrustworthy outcasts. The shepherds were terrified as they saw a glimpse of divine holiness and might. But the angel spoke with the reassuring message, “Fear not.” The good news for all people presented by the angel is a message of forgiveness and great joy. The High King of Heaven came into our world to bring grace. He is Emmanuel, God with us.