Christian History & Biography reports that tens of thousands of Japanese are coming to Christ through the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. This is primarily thanks to organist and conductor Masaaki Suzuki. When he performs the St. Matthew Passion during Holy Week, the concerts are sold out, and afterwards the stage is crowded with people asking about the messages in Bach’s music. The messages are thoroughly biblical, so much so that Bach’s work was once called “the fifth Gospel.” In the words of one Japanese musician who converted to Christianity: “When I play a fugue, I can feel Bach talking to God.” Bach, a devout believer, would no doubt rejoice to know that centuries later his music is still spreading the good news of the gospel.
On the night of Jesus’ birth, an angel appeared to shepherds. Why shepherds? Perhaps they fit with the humble circumstances of His birth; perhaps God wanted to point back to King David, who began as a shepherd; or perhaps He wanted to point forward, to the arrival of the Good Shepherd and the Lamb of God. In any case, the shepherds responded to the angel as others had, with both awe and terror. “Do not be afraid,” the angel told them, then he proclaimed “good news of great joy”—the gospel—“that will be for all the people”—universal in scope. “Today in the town of David”—prophecy fulfillment alert!— “a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord”—the Messiah, the Anointed One (vv. 10—12).
Then the skies exploded in praise! The watching hosts of heaven could hold back no longer, appearing suddenly in a blaze of light and belting out, “Gloria in excelsis deo” (Latin), or “Glory to God in the highest”
--from Today in the Word (Moody Bible Institute)