Imagine for a minute you're one of the shepherds interrupted by an angel in the midst of your night shift caring for your sheep.
You receive a message that the Savior of the world is born. But, before that ever registers, there's a problem.
The phrase "they were terrified" means both fear and flight, as in running away. The shepherds could have run the other direction in terror-stricken flight. They could have tried to outrun the angels. They could have tried to outrun God.
But we all know how well those options work!
Do you hear what they're saying to us? The shepherds could have run away from the good news. But, instead, they ran toward the good news.
The question the shepherds seem to be posing is this: Are you running toward God or running away from God?