What an amazing night! There was no way I would get any sleep.
The evening started like every other night on the hills above Bethlehem. Suddenly the most beautiful light I’d ever seen appeared to me and the other shepherds. At first the light frightened us. We had never seen anything like it. Then an angel stepped out of the light and started to talk to us. The sight of the angel and his voice calmed us and removed our fear.
He told us not to be afraid because he had come to tell us that a very special baby had been born that night in Bethlehem. This baby, he said, will be the Savior and is Christ the Lord. We would find him in a manger of all places.
When you get news like that from an angel, you don’t just sit where you are and ignore or discuss it. Leaving our sheep, we ran as fast as we could into the village and sure enough, there in a manger was a newborn baby boy. We told his parents about the angel who had told us to come see the wonder. We then all bowed on our knees and worshiped this little baby. I’d have to say this was the most beautiful and perfect baby I’d ever seen.
As much as we wanted to stay, we had to hurry back to the hill where our flocks were waiting.
Once we were back in the pasture, I sat down by the fire and thought about all that the angel had said and what we had seen. Simon came over and sat down beside me.
“Do you think we just saw the Messiah?” Simon asked.
“The angel told us he was the Savior and Christ the Lord. That sounds like the Messiah to me. Who else would have angels coming to announce their birth?”
“But isn’t the Messiah going to be the King of the Jews who will free us from the Romans? Kings are not born in mangers.”
“That’s what I’ve always thought,” I said. “But you know, kings all die and sooner or later their kingdoms also die. The Romans aren’t going to rule forever. Just look at what happened to all the other kingdoms including Judah. The Messiah must be a different kind of king who will rule forever.”
“I heard a Rabbi talking a few days ago and he was telling how people have a body and a soul. The body is what is living and visible and it will die. The soul is what makes us different from all other living things and it is the part that lives after the body dies. It is what goes to Heaven or Hell,” said Simon.
“Since the souls are what will live for eternity, don’t you think the Messiah will be the eternal king and his kingdom will be with God in Heaven?”
Simon was quiet for several minutes as he thought about what I’d said. “If what you say is true, and I believe it is; and if that baby we saw in the manger is the Messiah, and I don’t think the angels were here to tease us; then the baby that is the Messiah is truly the Savior and Lord. He is different than all other kings because his kingdom will never end.”
Then he asked, “What must I do to be certain I spend eternity with this King of Kings in His Eternal Kingdom?”
“I’m not sure right now,” I replied. “Believing he is Lord is going to be important. Don’t you think that as the baby grows to be a man he’ll let us know what we must do to be with him in eternity?”
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