As I ventured into town today I couldn't help but notice the streaming clouds that elegantly grazed the tips of her mountains majesty. It was cool and crisp and I sang to the Christmas music of 92.3 FM. It wasn't snowing but the weather reports have all been in sync- a white Christmas was in the forecast!
Upon returning from my trip to the local DG I nearly went straight home and decided to make a right instead of left towards the ole homestead. Less than a mile down the road was a menagerie of animals much like those I imagined that stood watch over the baby Jesus over 2000 years ago. I stopped at my neighbors house and parked my car. I jumped out and ran across the street to greet my neighbors who seemed excited to see me.
Twenty or more sheep, goats, and some new neighbors I hadn't met came running as if I were their next meal! Amber had grown since the last time I saw her. I barely recognized her.
“Is that you Amber?”, I asked.
She kept following me so I concluded that the golden colored goat with the floppy ears was indeed-Amber!
Gavin the baby cow was nearby and I stopped to bid a quick hello. He wasn't interested at the time, so I continued my neighborly stroll through the cow dung and goat curd.
I noticed the new family additions up on the hill in front of me. Four llamas stood proud and tall looking down on me. They looked at me as if to say, “Good day to you my friend and how are you this fine evening”! Their necks stretched with great pride and the only thing missing were their black tuxedos. No doubt, these llamas had a sophisticated class of their own!
I reached out to pet a few more of my furry friends(those that weren't skiddish or shy) and walked towards my car. With mud on my jeans and manure on my boots, I couldn't have felt better! A white truck parked a couple of houses down sat in suspicion as I skipped across the street to my Explorer. I drove off and waved good-bye to my menagerie of friends wishing them a Merry Christmas.
As I drove towards home I reminisced of a similar scene that took place many years ago. Okay so maybe I didn't have Joseph, Mary, or the three wise men there on the scene- but I did have some of the same animals and some hay. I might not have had the shepherds or a manger, or even a bay-but Jesus was there just the same! He was with me as I kindly greeted each animal and said hello to those I personally named. He was there when I reached down to pet Amber and tried to chase after Gavin. And even as I drove off, Jesus followed me home with his cloak of protection-making sure I would arrive safely to greet my 12 year old son.
Yep, this wasn't the same manger scene that colored the world over 2000 years ago, but it colored my world today-and it was a pretty awesome manger scene just the same. And here's the best part: This manger scene wasn't very far from my own front door.