Joel Elliott Mooneyhan
Songs Through Advent: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
"Hark! The herald angels sing: 'Glory to the newborn king!
Peace on earth and mercy mild;
God and sinners reconciled.'"
In the unlikely group of people in the Nativity story, the shepherds stand out as the least likely people to play a part. Shepherds were common men, rough and low. They worked with animals out in the wild. They are not polished. They are not nobility. They are not men anyone would ask to carry the news of a new King.
Let alone news from Heaven.
Let alone news that God was on the way to save them.
It was news usually carried by priests and prophets. It was the kind of news that would get around fast. Mary and Joseph are peasants, not royalty. They aren't people worthy of the news the shepherds carry. Their own story would have been hard enough to believe. Their lives might be in danger if anyone important thought that they might be engaged in sedition. They may have wanted to keep this news to themselves.
The secret is getting out.