The Christmas Story as Told by a Shepherd
Join us for another installment of our Christmas Character Series. Today's creative story was written by Brother Chris Gehly, and the kids from the Monongahela Branch Sunday School created the artwork.
I couldn't believe it. Had it all really just happened? I knew when I got old enough to tend the sheep that it would entail long nights and sleeplessness. I just didn't think that my mind would play these kinds of tricks on me.
But it couldn't have been just a dream. Everyone else was walking down to Bethlehem town as well . . . I bring you good tidings of great joy . . . that's what the angel had said. Never in my wildest imaginings would I have thought it was possible. Then that thunderous sound coming from all around me . . . Glory to God in the highest! What a joyful, harmonious chorus!
I stood just inside the doorway to the stable. There they were. Exactly as we were told: the manger, the baby, the young girl, a gentle man standing over them. The others had clamored in and were talking amongst themselves. They were excited, but I hung back. It was as if I really couldn't believe what my eyes were seeing. I had heard about the Messiah all my life. But now . . . there he was. He didn't look like much, just a baby. And yet . . . there was something different, wasn't there? A shiver ran down my back as a breath of cold night air caught me by surprise.
Then it happened, my movement had caught her eye. She saw me shaking a bit and then beckoned me to come closer. Don't be afraid, come and see him . . . she spoke to me with all the love and adoration of a new mother. The stable got very quiet at that moment. The others just watched as I made my way forward to that manger. My hands were shaking as I approached and knelt down beside the girl. She smiled encouragingly at me and then looked again at the face of her son. Then it happened . . .
As I walked away from that building, I knew my life had been changed forever. Never would I forget that moment. The baby had reached a tiny hand up into the air. Encouraged by his mother's kind look, I put my hand out to his. As his hand closed around my finger, it was as if a wave of power swept over the two of us. I saw a man, he was speaking to a crowd . . . teaching them. I saw a garden . . . he knelt there weeping tears of blood. I saw a cross . . . he hung upon it. And then . . . the empty tomb . . . he was alive. As I saw all of this, he held on tightly to my finger. He didn't move or stir or cry out. He just looked . . . at me. Mine eyes had seen my salvation!
(NOTE: The kids created what they imagined the shepherds must've seen in the sky that night. The seven children who worked on this ranged in age from 1 to 10 years old.)