That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep.
Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened,
but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news of great joy for everyone!
The Savior -- yes, the Messiah, the Lord -- has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David!
And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!"
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others -- the armies of heaven -- praising God:
"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors. a "
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, "Come on, let's go to Bethlehem! Let's see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
They ran to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.
Then the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.
All who heard the shepherds' story were astonished,
but Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart and thought about them often.
The shepherds went back to their fields and flocks, glorifying and praising God for what the angels had told them, and because they had seen the child, just as the angel had said.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)