"But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people." Luke 2:10
There is a trite old definition for joy that says joy is "Jesus-Others-You".
Actually, that formula fits pretty well into this text we have been studying.
The shepherd's joy began when they heard the angel tell about the birth of Jesus. For centuries faithful Jews had been praying, waiting and longing for the Messiah. Now the angel is announcing His arrival and the good news comes to a few humble shepherds! How good is that!?
And then they hurried to the stable to see the Christ-child as the angel foretold. When they arrived and saw Him cuddled in his mother's arms they rejoiced!
Jesus was a source of joy!
Having seen for themselves and rejoicing at the sight of the newborn Son of God, the shepherds then went to spread the good news to others throughout the land. Wherever they went and everyone they told were amazed at their story. Their joy incited joy in others!
Their witness about Jesus was a source of joy to others!
Once they had seen Jesus and then told others about seeing Jesus and when they had seen they joyous response of others, then the full significance of the events they had seen and heard finally impacted them. They were filled with joy! It was an amazing night of joy!
I guess the trite old formula IS true. Joy does come from Jesus and then Others and You. So, it may be trite but it is true!