Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Surprised by the Light: The Shepherds

Image from "The Nativity Story" ©2006 New Line Cinema

     While Mary was in wonder over this miracle of God, the shepherds were in the fields below Bethlehem, watching their flocks that night. Nothing extraordinary happened to shepherds.  Nothing.  Day after day, night after night, the same old routine.  Out to pasture, then, in to the folds for safety at night.  Listening for the cry of a lost or wounded sheep, or a wolf on the prowl.  No matter the day or season, the days were predictable and unremarkable.  But, not this, not tonight.

     Gazing at the night sky, as they were wont to do, the shepherds noticed a dot of light growing in size and brilliance.  They called out to one another as it soon became apparent that this was no ordinary celestial body.  Spending the time they did outdoors, they knew the sky as they did their sheep.  This star was like no other!  "FEAR NOT!" a voice suddenly filled the air.  "For Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all the people," the invisible voice announced.  "For unto YOU is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord!  

     The proclamation echoed throughout the evening heavens, as the shepherds stood in wonder at this awesome news.  Here, right in their own town?  Could it be?  Even a lonely shepherd had heard of the prophecy telling of a Messiah who would come to bring peace into this uncertain world. Just as they were pondering this most amazing announcement, the sky became alive with a host of heavenly beings thundering their praise, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill to men!"

     We must go!  We MUST go and see this baby.  And they did, with great haste. The star had spread its rays, leading the way towards Bethlehem town.  And, just as the sheep would follow their shepherds, tonight, the shepherds followed the star.  With full trust, and without wavering.  They recognized the voice of God...and they followed.

                       - from "Christmas Musings" by Jarm Del Boccio ©2012

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