Imagine yourself a shepherd
It’s a normal, bog standard day
Nothing at all special about it at all
You and your friends are gathered around a fire, keeping warm
It’s getting late, so some of your friends are asleep, others are watching the flames flicker
You are staring out at the stars, bright in the sky
You don’t know much about stars, but you like to look at them
You’ve been looking at stars for as long as you can remember
Tonight, there’s a star which seems new
You point it out to your friends, the other shepherds
“Look, there’s a new star. It’s really bright.”
You’re friends pull your leg. Dinnae be daft, they say
But you’re sure it’s new, because you know this sky. Know it was well as the back of your hand
Each one of the sheep in the flock you and your friends are watching
You shrug your shoulders, and get on with watching the sheep, making sure no one steals them, that no wild animals attack them.
Time seems to pass slowly.
You are the only one awake. Everyone has fallen asleep
Then, out of nowhere comes a bright light.
Brighter than the noon day sun.
it wakes the rest of your friends up.
And you are all absolutely terrified.
Because this is an angel.
You might not have seen one before, but you just know
and know you are frightened.
You and all your friends are terrified.
The angel reassures you:
“Do not be afraid. I bring good news of great joy for all people. Today, in Bethlehem, a saviour has been born to you; he is the messiah, the Lord.”
What does that mean?
You barely have time to process this when the angel tells you and your friends to go to see this messiah.
This baby, wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.
A baby? A manger?
That means they are in a stable?
The messiah born a baby in a stable?
Well. If this angel, who has scared you and your friends half to death says so, it must be true.
Maybe that’s what that star is.
A sign of the messiah.
And to top off the message from the angel, just in case you and your friends didn’t get the message, loads more angels turn up
singing beautiful music giving glory to God
“See, I told you there was a new star” you tell your friends.
And you all head off to find the baby.
When you get there, there’s a worried looking man- this must be Dad
there’s an exhausted looking woman – this must be Mum
and, just as you’ve been told
there’s the baby. Lying in a manger.
it wasn’t a dream, it’s true.
You tell Mum and Dad – they are called Mary and Joseph all that the angel told you.
That their baby is the saviour of the world
Come to ordinary people
In a way no one would have expected
This is a story to be told forever