Back in time, to a hillside of long ago.
You are there.
Close your eyes.
You are a shepherd…..
Feel the rough bark as you lean back against a tree.
Your eyes are heavy, you want to sleep,
For all is quiet, even the lambs are sleeping.
See them there, snuggled close to their mothers for warmth,
For the night is chill and you gather your cloak
Closer around you. – Then—suddenly you are startled
From your drowsiness ----
The air is filled with wondrous music – are you dreaming?
No! This is real, the sheep hear it too – they are looking toward heaven.
Can it be angel voices – yes – listen – hear the words-
“Fear not—for unto you is born a Savior, Christ the Lord.
And without realizing it, you have risen, picked up your crookAnd even though you are weary, aching from the long day,
You begin to walk, stumbling at first –
For your eyes are on the brightness of the heaven –
Your ears full of the joyful angel songs.
In amazement, you slowly wend your way down the winding path
You hear the other shepherds – they are coming too,
And the sheep that follow you, always, are coming too,
And you continue quickly to the place.
Your thoughts are puzzling – a child – yet a king –
A Savior – a Savior….
But how can it be…………born in a stable….. a rough, lowly stable…..
A Savior….. how can it be?
But there – in the sky – a star – more brilliant than you
Have ever seen – over the stable – in
A Savior……… a Savior.
And you come to the place where He is lying,
And you sense something wondrous is taking place here……….
Your heart pounds, you can hear it in your ears.
You must walk softly though you don’t know why…your pace slows………..
You can see the manger and those who are there.
Not yet ready to look upon this child, you hesitate,Gather your cloak around you for you are shivering—
Yet it is not from the cold—it is something else –
Awe at what you see.
There, the father stands – hand gently resting on the woman’s shoulder,
His eyes full of love for the woman and the child.
You look then to the mother, sitting close to the child.
She looks at the tiny babe, her eyes too, are filled with love,
But you can see there too something else – almost – almost a sadness?
No…that can not be…this is a night of joy….and yet….And yet….?
Then, finally you look to the child,
And you are drawn closer and closer to the place where He lies.You wipe your eyes, for tears have welled up unexpectedly…..
Something is happening to you—you are a bit fearful, and yet calm.
You are drawn closer, until at last you look upon the face
Of this boy child who shivers a little from the coldness of the night—
And you cannot look away.
You look into His eyes and somehow you know,
You know that you are in the presence of the King,
The God Man – a child in a lowly manger…..A Savior…………
And you know at that moment that you will never be the same.
For your life has been touched with an overwhelming love,
And a peace that you have never felt before.
A little lamb softly licks your hand, as if to show you
That this is really happening, and you kneel down beside the lamb,
And gently rub your hand over its soft, woolly head,
And you keep your eyes on the child, the King, the Savior.
You will leave the stable after a while and return to the hillside,But you know that you will never want to take your eyes off the Savior.
You know that you will look to Him forever.
For unto you was born that day, your Savior, Christ the Lord. written December 1994