My name is Simon. I’m a shepherd; well actually, I’m a shepherd in training. That’s why I got left behind..
I’m still a little irritated by that even though I know SOMEBODY had to stay with the sheep… It’s just that all of the others had such a great adventure without me. But at least I got to see the angels.
I’m sorry I’m babbling on… thinking that you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Here’s what happened…
We had the fire going pretty well and half of the men were heading toward the tents to get a few hours of shuteye before it was their turn to watch the flock.
There was the usual grumbling and joking around the fire that night, but things really were pretty peaceful. The kind of night you really didn’t mind being a shepherd, you know what I mean? The stars were shining, the air was crisp, and there was plenty of food to eat. We had killed a coyote earlier in the day and the smell of the roasted meat was making me really hungry.
As we began munching on our late night snack, I suddenly realized how quiet it was. The usual night sounds were missing. No cricket noises or sheep shuffling… nothing! It was really strange. Each of the guys around the fire seemed to notice this at the same time. Even the men who had been in the tents wandered outside with worried looks on their faces. It just wasn't natural.
That’s when it happened.
All of a sudden, a bright light appeared. I’m talking a BRIGHT LIGHT! An angel started talking to us. Yep, an honest to goodness angel! And let me tell you something! Those angels are scary!! Have you ever been so scared that you were frozen in place? That’s how we were.
The angel told us not to be afraid (yeah, right) and that something great had just happened! The Savior of the World had been born!
Did you catch that? The Savior of the WORLD!!! Not just of the Jewish people, not just the religious people, but all of us!!! The whole World!
Well then a bunch of angels appeared all at once and started singing. It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen!
As soon as they finished their song, they disappeared. We turned and looked at each other. I don’t remember who said it first, but soon everyone was agreeing that we needed to go find this baby, this Savior, as soon as we could.
We all headed down the path at a quick trot. Then all of a sudden Tom, the lead shepherd stopped in his tracks. “We can’t leave the sheep” he said. “Somebody has to stay here.”
Everyone looked right at me. I knew it wouldn’t do any good to complain, so I turned and headed back to the flock, after telling my friend Bob to pay attention to every detail of the trip.
Well, when they got back, they couldn’t stop talking about it! Over and over again, I heard the same story! They found the baby just where the angels said He would be. Each shepherd said the same thing… that when they went into the stable, they were overwhelmed by the feeling of peace and holiness that they had never felt before. It changed their lives.
It really did! From that time on, each shepherd that had visited the baby Jesus was a changed man. They were kinder, gentler, and much more honest than they had been before.
Now don’t feel sorry for me. It was just a few years later when I had my turn to meet the Savior… but you know, I’ll have to tell you that story later… I’ll come back around Easter time to fill you in on all of that.
Have a great Christmas!