Monday, December 22, 2014
A Shepherd's Tale
Now, my boy, you'll not believe all of what I say, but I must tell you anyway. You are my grandson and it's important you hear this old shepherd's tale. You've been out there with me. You know how it is. Around the fire we sat. The sheep had settled down as had we. Simon started passing some wine around to warm us up, but before it ever reached me, the dark sky exploded in a brilliant blinding light and an angel stood there in our midst. I know. You want to know how I knew it was an angel. How does anyone know such a thing? I had never seen one. Well, son, you just know.
Anyway, by that time we were all face down in the dirt. Scared to death is what we were. I just knew it was the end, but the angel meant us no harm. The first thing he said was, "Don't be afraid." I'll never forget that voice and neither will you if you ever hear an angel speak. Then he told us a Savior had been born in Bethlehem and that we should go. And, then, the heavens seemed to open up with the sounds of heaven. When I dared to look up, it was like looking into glory.
And, then, my son, it was dark as it had been light. Once again the moon and stars were there in the dark sky. The fire was still burning. Everything was suddenly the same but everything had changed. There was only one thing to do. Old Joshua said, "Let's go," and we left fire and sheep and everything and went to Bethlehem. We hardly spoke a word as we went. We just hurried into the village as if we knew the way. We found them, a man named Joseph, a young girl called Mary, and a fresh as a new born lamb boy child they named Jesus because an angel told them that was to be His name. They said the angel told them at the very beginning that this boy child named Jesus would save people from their sins. It took me awhile to understand, but I got it. The angel meant them, me, and even you. Don't you forget it, boy. Jesus was born in Bethlehem to save you. You'll figure it out, too.