Sometimes, certain things just need repeating…
While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around
And glory shone around.
“Fear not,” said he, for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled minds;
“Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind
To you and all mankind.
(While Shepherds Watched their Flocks by Night)
As darkness swallows up the day, the black-velvet expanse of night displays a bazillion, shimmering constellations.
Shepherds gather around a flickering fire to dispel the evening’s chill, the flames casting a warm glow across their faces, while others keep guard from the watchtower.
Peace and quiet surround them, except for the soothing crackle of the fire.
Their flocks lie still, serene.
The night’s shroud suddenly glistens, revealing the radiance of an angel of the Lord. The shepherds fall on their faces, trembling.
The angel assures this cluster of caretakers, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” *
Heaven then severs the night sky to display more of its glory, unfolding a host of angels, as their voices ring out, “Glory to God in the highest. On earth, peace, goodwill toward men!” **
Rising to their feet, the shepherds exude excitement, “Come on! Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” ***
One unusual star emblazons the eastern sky; one divinely-appointed beam of light illuminates the way to this heralded wonder.
Weaving their way through those rushing to find a place to stay, those having been summoned here to register for taxation, the shepherds follow the beam of light, seeking the site of this newborn Savior.
From a chorus of angelic voices to the clamor of the street, a multitude of sounds reaches their ears: the bleating of sheep, the braying of donkeys, the lowing of cattle. Suddenly, the cries of a newborn resonate above all the rest.
Finding their way inside a stable, the shepherds find the Babe of Bethlehem, wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a hayed trough.
The shepherds encounter the Savior of the world. What they sought, they found.
Oh, to know the wonder of that holy night. To follow the Light, to find the Babe of Bethlehem.
Lord, take me to those fields filled with Your glory. Draw back the black curtain of my night and spill out the glory of Your heaven.
Lead me to that humble manger that I may learn to make my heart a humble manger-place for You. Reveal my life’s emptiness and fill it with the same joy of heaven that filled that night’s air. Guide me always by the Light of Your Life.
Give me willing knees to crouch before You in lowly reverence and awe. Give me listening ears to hear the rush of angels’ wings, to hear their glorious hallelujahs and the holiness of their worship.
Oh, that my heart would always be filled with the glory and wonder of that precious night.
I pray you seek and experience the Manger Babe this season. May your heart be filled with Bethlehem-wonder and glorious worship this Christmas.