What IS important is what the picture says to each of us, for every individual who views the work likely has a slightly different view of what it says to them. Since I can only say what it says to me, what I see follows and it is this:
I'll agree with Christian writer David McCasland who echoed the words of art historian Seymour Silvo in described Rembrandt as the master of light and shadow. Notice the prominence of both in the painting itself. The principal light comes from the Baby Jesus who came to earth to be the Light of the World. Even the lanterns shown offer very little bright light by comparison to the aura of the Christ Child, as it should be, for no one or no other thing can bring light to us as the strength of our faith in Christ. It makes us capable of dealing with the darkest days of our lives as it further strengthens us the more we see its impact. That God above was willing to sacrifice part of Himself, His Son, our Lord and Savior so that we might receive forgiveness for our sins is the most wonderful thing that any of us could ever receive. But for that forgiveness to really take hold and lead our life thereafter, we must accept that forgiveness by believing in Him by faith alone. Will we accept his magnanimous offer and receive the gift of Eternity? How we answer that question will determine our future forever. If you want The Light in your life, choose Jesus. Otherwise, the shadows will become total darkness forever. It's all up to us individually. And thanks to gifted artists like Rembrandt for being able to provide a visual presentation of just how glorious His Light Shines. May it shine on us forever.