Christmas really happened. Perhaps a bit like this:
Boring job. Great conversation. That pretty much describes shepherding on the night watch. The sheep are asleep, and we talk, discuss, probe deep subjects, and brag about our families. We stand and stretch, wander the perimeters of the fold, and munch our lunch, trying to stay alert to critters that would slip in and endanger the sheep. Same-o, same-o every single night.
Until that night. Everything about that night was wildly different from any night before – and probably any night to come. Angels. Angels, I tell you! And light. Brilliant light that made us squint and shade our eyes and scramble to our feet.
And the most amazing announcement! An angel said the Savior had been born that night in Bethlehem. Right in the town down the hill from us! Then a song like you’ve never heard! The night sky was filled with angels pouring out praise to God. What a glorious sound! Indescribably glorious. We stood with our mouths open in awe.
Silence again descended as the angels ascended back into the heavens. We slowly gathered our wits about us, and then with one consent, we left the sheep on that hillside and ran into town to search for the newborn BabySavior. In a manger, the angel had said. Wrapped in cloths.
We now know the inside of every stable in Bethlehem. We searched until we found them – Joseph, Mary, and the Baby in the manger, just as the angel had said.
Well, you can’t keep news like that to yourself! We couldn’t anyway. So we told everyone we saw about the family in the stable. And that angels had told us the good tidings of great joy – of the Savior born that night, Christ, the Lord. Some, no doubt, waved us off as crazy, while others soberly considered our report. Lots of chin rubbing and puzzled thoughts and questioning conversations that night for those who heard our story.
We finally calmed down and walked back out to the sheep. They must have been awed by the angels, too. Not one was missing from the flock.
No other night like that one, to be sure. We’ll talk about that night as long as we live. The night of our dear Savior’s birth. We heard about it from the angel, and you heard about it from us. Glory to God in the highest!
Merry Christmas to all!