Joseph turned to his wife, her angelic face hopeful.
“Just ask, Joseph, please.”
Head tilted, eyes shining, and a voice so very soft, Joseph took her slender hand and pressed it to his lips.
“For you, I’ll try.”
The corners of her mouth turned up, as though an angel had placed a string on each end and tugged. It made his heart skip a beat.
He knocked on the front door. A man answered, his eyes bruised with sleeplessness. “We’re full,” he said even as he began to close the door in Joseph’s face.
“Wait, please.” Something in his voice stopped the innkeeper’s hand. “My wife is in need of a bed.”
Joseph pointed to her standing behind. She smiled, giving a little wave before placing the hand back on her swollen belly. Mary should have been a pathetic picture, especially after traveling for so long. He couldn’t see it. She still took his breath away.
As he turned back Joseph could see the innkeeper had been affected as well. Sorrow filled his harried features as he pointed to the crowd behind him.
“I’m sorry, sir, but as you can see there isn’t even room for me or my family. It’s-”
“I know,” Joseph interrupted, having heard it twice before. “It’s tax time. Thank you.”
He turned and took two steps before the innkeeper called him back. After a few briefs words Joseph strode to his wife.
“He knows of a kahn nearby. We’ll be comfortable there.”
Mary nodded, her relief noticeable only in the relaxing of her tightened lips. He knew the labor had been coming on for some time now, yet she hadn’t complained once. Hoping to make her even a little comfortable he urged the donkey on.
“Look there!” cried Seth.
Jacob turned his head in the direction of his brother’s gaze. To his amazement high in the sky there was a star far brighter than any other.
“It can’t be,” he gasped.
Out of nowhere a being appeared, more glorious than anything he’d ever witnessed before. The light emanating from the angel, for there was no doubt it was an angel, was so bright he shielded his eyes.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” *
Jacob barely registered the words when breathtaking, remarkable music flooded his senses. He blinked, and a whole host of heavenly beings appeared, all singing praises to the newborn.
Far too soon the vision vanished though his body still trembled with the memory. Without a word Jacob and Seth turned toward the new star.
“Should we go?” asked Seth.
Along the way they met up with others who had witnessed the event. No one spoke as they traveled, each one of their minds entirely filled with what they had seen.
It took some time to find the innkeeper who could help guide them.
Something about her face had left him oddly unsettled until the young men came knocking, asking if he knew of a baby born that night.
Instantly he knew for whom they searched. He could have given them directions. It would have been easy enough. Simon surprised himself when he offered to show them the way, though he stayed back as the shepherds entered.
At the sound of the infant’s cry his heart pounded inside his chest. Immediately he knew there was something different about this baby, something special. Though he couldn’t find the words to express why, Simon knew seeing this child was far more important than anything else in the world.
As he crept to the opening of the kahn he heard the low rumble of voices within. The animals bordering the scene were strangely quiet, as though aware of the sacredness of their newest occupant. At first his view was blocked by one of the shepherds. How he desperately wanted – no, needed – to see this child.
The young man knelt, as did his brothers, giving the innkeeper full view, and Simon’s heart was changed.
Millions of people for thousands of years have gathered in churches around the world to honor the Lord Jesus Christ.
Yet none could possibly shine a light to the simple scene in a stable where a mother, a father, and a few shepherds knelt to worship the newborn king.
* Luke 2:11-12 (KJV)
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