Have you ever let your imagination run wild to think about what it must have been like the night Jesus was born?
Below is a fictitious story based on an actual event. Hope you enjoy it. It was fun just thinking about it.
The sun began to set over the Mediterranean as I came on duty. It would be another long night, but hopefully, a quiet one.
For the record, with over 15 years of graveyard shift, I believed I had seen it and heard it all, but that would quickly change in what would be the most glorious, yet mysterious night of my life.
Walking into the office, I stowed my knapsack of olives and dates in the wooden crate with my name carved into it, then signed my name in the log book. Perhaps if everything was calm, I'd be able to sneak back and have my snack and play a game of marbles with a few of the other fellas before time to call it a night.
Grabbing my dagger and strapping it on my waist, I headed out. Bethlehem was lit up. The twinkling lights of candles in windowsills and fires crackling in their hearth, cast a yellow glow over the city.
Mothers called for their children to make their way back to the home, and silhouettes of men playing dice in the town square - their laughter and razzing made it seem as if all was well.
I figured this as good a time as any to make my way outside the city gate to where the shepherds kept their flocks. If any trouble would befall me, it would be from them. They often found themselves a little too joy-filled with their drink of strong wine mixed with bitter herbs.
The countryside was illuminated by the terrific moonlight, casting a purplish hue to the hills and meadows. As I walked, the bleating of the sheep and goats became louder and more pronounced.
All seemed well that night. I was feeling blessed to have this job, though I did miss the many hours away from my family. I imagined the little ones all sitting around momma's worn chair, as she read them a story by candlelight, of a giant who lived long ago and a small shepherd boy who killed him with one rock to the forehead from his homemade sling.
Shaking myself from my thoughts, I saw a gathering of shepherds - each bedding down for the night. The air was warm, but a cool breeze wrestled the leaves of the trees. Aaahhh. This was a peaceful night. Perhaps I would sit down for a spell and allow the stillness to soothe my weary soul.
Finding the right tree to prop up against, I sat down. Who knows but I might even get some shut-eye. Of course, I'd have to be discreet about it.
I had just sat back and got comfortable, when all of a sudden, light beams shot forth across the sky. A whooshing sound quickly followed like nothing I had ever heard before.
I stood to my feet and steadied my hand on my dagger. The shepherds, too, were now up and mingling about; sheep running too and fro as if startled by a strange being.
Walking out into the clearing, I peered up into the night sky. The clouds began to churn in vibrant colors and then...I could not believe my eyes!! A heavenly host of angels appeared, their robes of the purest white I had ever beheld.
Blinded by the sudden brilliance, I stammered a few steps back. What was happening? Were we being visited by some type of angelic beings? Had God, Himself, come down out of heaven?
Suddenly, a voice spoke out across the night sky,
"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
I marveled at what was being said. This was definitely not what I had expected on this ordinary shift.
Looking towards the shepherds, I saw them now herding their sheep with staff in hand. They were moving towards the city, and I, too, began to race in that direction.
Making my way towards headquarters, the light I had witnessed in the sky, seemed to suddenly stop over a lean-to on the outskirt of the city wall.
It wasn't much to look at...just a simple stable where animals were kept. The shepherds had now began to gather at the entrance; their livestock grazing on the grasses edging the dusty roadway.
I could make out a faint glow through the doorway. I could see movement between the bodies of the shepherds, but still couldn't make out what was inside. Just then...a cry. A baby's cry!
Pushing my way through the gathering, I stepped forward to the doorway of the lean-to. There before me was a peculiar site! A man standing near a young woman gently nestling a newborn babe to her breast.
They both turned their heads and looked at me as I stood there speechless, recalling the words the angel had spoken.
Could this be? Is it even possible?
My head swelled trying to make sense of it all. True, I was a Roman in this town of Jews, but I had heard the stories of a Messiah who would come. Like this? In a dirty stable? Straw for his bed?
Stepping back away from the door, I realized I had just witnessed something which had the potential to change my whole life. This was not the average call. Would anyone even believe what I told them?
I left that place and made my way back to headquarters. Walking in, I set my dagger down before me on our makeshift table. Grabbing the log book, I began my entry:
9:30 PM...all is quiet in Bethlehem. Citizens in for the night. Shepherds bedded down.
10:10 PM...Strange noise and light in the eastern sky. Something unexplainable in the clouds, yet pointing to a stable on the outskirts of town.
10:25 PM...Inquired about the commotion at said stable. Young couple with newborn...name is Jesus. Am told he is a king.
Time will certainly tell.
We know from scripture that God did send forth His Son that night. That He was born of a virgin in a lowly stable. That He did not come in splendor or wealth, but came all the same, so that you and I would have the greatest opportunity afforded...a renewed relationship with God through the work Jesus would accomplish on a cross some 30 years later.
Christmas is all about a King. All about a Savior. Salvation is a free gift to you and to me, and all we have to do is receive it....receive Him.
If you would like more information about how to receive this priceless and eternal gift, please message me. I would love to share the good news with you this Christmas season.
Blessings and a very Merry Christmas!