I wrote the following passages several years ago, and as December hits I long to read it again…it is your Christmas card.
When I think of the shepherds that visited the manger, I imagine them minding their own business…just star-gazing and sheep-counting….a typical night, but Christmas in Sarajevo by Trans-Siberian Orchestra gives my imagination legs.
For me this is how the angels filled the air with sound….and how the shepherds were impacted. Listen to the song, and think of young boys, sunburned and thin…old men with faces scarred by the bite of winter…woolly lambs bleating…and a black sky peppered with pinpoints of light.
As the song begins……
On a cool evening the shepherds sleep around a dwindling campfire. One young boy stands guard, gazing out over the rocks and withered grass. He is ever mindful of the lion and the wolf. He leans against his shepherd’s crook for the day has been long, and the night will be longer.
A flash of light…a falling star…turns his eyes heavenward. He blinks and rubs his eyes. More flashes fill the sky, and the lights blinds him. The air around him pulses and hums. What is happening? He rushes to awaken the others, but they are slow to rouse.
“Get up! The sky is falling. Gather the lambs! Run to the caves. Run!”
The shepherds ignore the boy as their heads rest upon their rock pillows. A crash of music forces all their eyes to open. Light floods the night, trumpets blast, and angelic voices croon in swells of joy. The shepherds grab the nearest lambs and each other as the angelic song pounds and pulses with the Good News. They are terrified.
Angels with white-fire wings form a ring above them. Their beauty forces the shepherds’ fear to fly away, and peace nests in their hearts. They have been chosen to hear the Good News first! CHOSEN! An old man with sore knees leaps high in the air. His pain is long forgotten as he dances. The others join him, stomping and swaying. Even the lambs frolic in exultation.
There is no shortness of breath…no fatique…no wobbling…the dance consumes them as they move with the angelic music. It is a celestial celebration!
A meteorite shower of incredible proportions planned from the beginning of Creation gives the birth announcement.
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
The message sears their souls with conviction. They grab their staffs, and the shepherd boy lifts an orphaned lamb to his shoulders. The campfire is left smoldering. Bedrolls are discarded. The Chosen Ones leave the fields…. to seek the Promise made real in newborn flesh.