The announcement came to the shepherds while they were at work in the fields.
... there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, (Luke 2:8)
Their initial response to the glory of the Lord was fear. A right relationship with God starts here. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."
Wait, why should I fear a loving God? Because He is God and I am not. He is the Creator. I am the created. He is righteous, holy (i.e., set apart) and just and cannot and will not overlook sin. If you remember from Romans 3:23 and 6:23 from my previous post, as sinners, we all have plenty to fear in the presence of the Almighty.
When the angels explain that they come bearing good news and tell the shepherds how to find Jesus and the shepherds see and hear a multitude of angels praising God, they realize this is supernatural. It is from God (which the Lord has made known to us -- Luke 2:15a). In response, the shepherds do the following:
- Go - They immediately go to Bethlehem to see Jesus. And they go quickly.
- When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. (Luke 2:15-16)
- And when they saw it ... (Luke 2:17a)
- ... they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. (Luke 2:17b)
- And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had seen, as it had been told to them. (Luke 2:18)
Next, the wise men.