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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Carols/Carolling (10/02/08)

TITLE: The Shepherds' Song
By Clyde Blakely


“John, have you noticed how bright the stars are tonight?”

“I’ve never seen anything like it, Jacob, in all my years in the fields guarding sheep.”

“Not only are they bright but I believe there’s many more than usual.”

“A multitude more, if you ask me,” Matthew interjects.

“I may be superstitious but I feel they are watching us,” Malachi softly says, almost to himself.

Gazing at the star studded night sky, thoughts of heaven, eternity, and God fill their minds. Were those stars watching them?

Finally Elijah speaks, “If they are watching us, do you wonder what they’re thinking?”

“Probably what a sad lot those shepherds are.”

Laughter fills the air.

“Yeah, nothing ever happens to a shepherd.”

Moments pass as each considers their lowly life. No homes, no warm beds, and no money. The status of the shepherd being at the bottom in their Jewish culture and they always stunk, having to handle the lanolin coated sheep all day. Were their lives meaningful to God?

“Well, there was King David.”

“Amen!” comes an enthusiastic chorus.

Silence covers the fields again.

“Yes, amen,” a soft voice says revealing the thoughts of the rest, A long time ago and the only shepherd honored by God.

Breaking into their thoughts, Matthew says, “I can surely see where David got his inspiration for writing songs. Living out here seems to bring me closer to God, having to rely on Him for my safety, seeing His creation up close. And these dumb sheep...ever think they are so much like us sometimes?”

“I’ve often thought they were just like you Matthew!”

Men in laughter change the mood.

Matthew retorts, “Sometimes I think of you when I’m herding, Jacob, but then a sheep does something smart and I come back to reality.” Teasing eyes turn to Jacob in laughter.

As the laughter slowly fades, thoughts again turn to their lives and God.

One of the shepherds starts singing their favorite song, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want...” as others softly join in from their hearts.

Their voices raising a sweet, somewhat off-tune, praise to God. Souls magnifying their Lord, Creator of the Universe, Master of heaven’s host.

The surrounding hills echo back as they finish, “...Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Bowing their heads in prayer, a brilliant light surrounds them. Panicked, yet afraid to move. Sheep quietly lift their heads upward.

A man dressed in shining raiment appears. No, not a man, much taller, stronger, yet love and contentment radiate from him as intense as the light accompanying him.

Hovering, he announces, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be to all people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you, He is the Christ the Lord. This will be a sign unto you. You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and laying in a manger.”

As these words sink into their minds the skies themselves seem to collapse, stars only moments before shown so bright, descend on the shepherds. The hills which echoed the shepherds’ singing now seem to join with the multitude of angels, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rest.”

The moving star they’ve watched for so long gives a dazzling twinkle. With this new song in their hearts that they will sing to their Lord, the shepherds rush in unison to Bethlehem as the angels watch the sheep by night.

Based on Luke chapter 2, using the NIV when quoted.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lyn Churchyard10/09/08
A very different telling of the story of the shepherds watching their flocks and hearing the angels announcement. I loved the banter between the men. Very enjoyable, well done.
Rebecca Jones10/09/08
This was wonderful -- a truly wonderful piece! What an excellent way to relate the first Christmas carols ever sung! Excellent job.
Jan Ackerson 10/10/08
I LOVE the idea of the shepherds singing the 23rd Psalm!

I found the present tense a bit discombobulating in this piece. I think it works best for more introspective pieces from one POV.

This had some new "stuff" in it that made it stand out from the typical shepherds' story. Thanks for that!