The chill of the desert night crept its way through the thinning fabric of his garments. He tugged on his collar tucking it under his chin, and rested his hands there for a moment in hopes of warming the tips of his nearly frozen fingers.
He slowly moved his hands away and began rewrapping the scarf around his head and face, until all you could see were a few wisps of his hair and the brownness of his eyes.
Although his eyes were, as dark as a starless night, there was a brightness to them that illuminated the joy he was feeling and glowed with the peace that had come over him.
“Papa, it’s so cold.” His young son called out to him from atop the donkey.
“I know, my son, but be patient we are almost there.” The shepherd father’s voice warmly assured him.
He stared down at the boys face, “So young and innocence and so blessed to be a witness to the miracle that they were about to behold,” he thought to himself, as he leaned over his son and pulled the wool blanket tighter around him.
“There, son, that should make you warmer,” he said as he gathered the rope into his hands and continued to lead him down the rocky crag.
“Where are the others, Papa?” his son’s voice cried out in the shadows of the night. The fullness of the moon was their only light and, as if by a miracle, it glowed like a torch – lighting the path before them.
“They are ahead of us, so we must press on, my son, for we our about to witness that which will fulfill our forefather's promise of the ‘True Shepherd’ coming to reign over us.”
His thoughts turned back to earlier that night when he and the others were out gathering the grazing sheep that had wandered into the lowlands. As they began herding them back up the mountain’s crest a great brightness came upon them.
With great fear, they stood in silence.
“Papa, are you still afraid?”
“No, son, not anymore.”
“I’ am Papa.”
“Son, you do not need to be afraid. If what we were told tonight is true then love has come to replace all our fears.”
He remembered how the sight of the angel standing before them had all but blinded them. The brilliance of the Lord’s glory was so overwhelming that they fell backwards and had to hide their eyes in the crook of their elbows to keep from falling over.
“Papa, who were those people standing in our midst this night singing and praising God?”
“Son, they were angels sent by God, to give us a message and a sign that today was the day the Messiah was coming to live among us.
Soon they caught up to the others, and they made their way together into the town of Bethlehem.
They were cold and tired from their journey but a force unbeknownst to them propelled them forward. They began to search up and down the dusty roads looking for the place where they would find the Child, when one of the shepherds cried out.
“There, over there, see the star in the East sky?” He breathlessly went on, “It is glowing like never before. That is where we will find Him.”
When they came upon the manger, they stood in holy awe as they laid their eyes on the Babe. Then with exceedingly great joy they all fell to their knees, and began worshiping and praising Him.
Upon departing from the city, they proclaimed to all whom they meet along the way, “That in the city of David, in the town of Bethlehem, the Lord Jesus Christ, was born.”
“Will the baby Jesus grow up to be a little boy like me?”
“Yes, son, He will. One day He will be the reason that all our sins shall be forgiven, as He will bring to us the gift of everlasting life.”
Then he and the others looked up and cried out, “Praise be to our Heavenly Father, for unto us this day our Savior is born.”
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