Wednesday, December 07, 2005

And in the same region there were shepherds... (admittedly a rough, rough first draft)

A skyward resplendence flooded the darkness, and night changed to day around us. A silhouette of a man - no, not a man, but of someone or something - hung suspended in the radiance. The sudden change from the evening's black to brilliance petrified me. My knees buckled, and I dropped to the grass. Barely could I see others of our crew across the field similarly overcome. I lifted my crook to shield my eyes as best I could from the glare, though little did it aid. Wishing to run, I scooted myself upright to a knee. In the distance, bleatings from our nervous flocks rose.

Then, an exclamation thundered forth from the image amidst the light, "Fear not!"

For a moment, my stomach lurched into my throat. Despite the sentiment, beads of sweat dripped down my face, and my shaking continued worse than before. I tore my glance from the majestic speaker for the light burned my eyes.

"For behold, I bring you good tidings of a great joy that will be for all the people!"

Still trembling, my hopes arose as slow thoughts penetrated through my near-numb mind. Might this be the voice of the Lord? Could this be He of whom the patriarchs glimpsed?

Again, the announcement boomed, "For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord!"

My propped knee gave way, and I tumbled flat onto the curve of my staff. Hardly, though, did it pain me. The urge swept through me to remove my sandals. Surely, I lay on holy ground. The savior, God's promised Messiah, had come - the one about whom the ancients foretold. The Lord had come this night!

"And this will be a sign to you: you will find the baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger!"

The omen registered briefly but disappeared in a flash. I wanted to bury my head deep in the ground but could not move. The sky no longer existed. If I had witnessed the awe-inspiring before, truly this was heaven opening itself to the earth. A myriad of beings surrounded by the glory of glories filled the heavens as far across the field as I could see. A beautiful refrain echoed over the valley, and the verse rang clear.

"Glory to God in the highest and on Earth peace among those with whom he is pleased." Unforgettable words lilted over and over.

And suddenly, the host began retreating into the heavens, and the sweet music faded. The glory of the Lord drifted with the throng until all had gone. The starlit night returned as it had earlier appeared.

With some effort, I climbed to my feet. Hopeful that my robes remained unsoaked, I patted my clothing and whispered a thankful prayer.

"Samuel! Samuel!" my name was called, and then a third time.

My friend Jesiah, splashing through a shallow creek, stumbled towards me. His two brothers trailed him. I hurried to my friend, and we embraced.

"The Lord has shown us great things!" he cried. "Are we not to believe what we have beheld this night?"

"How could we presume otherwise?" Nodding, I clasped my friend's shoulders. "To Bethlehem, Jesiah, we must go there."

One of his brothers raced by us. "Come, let us do this now."

Leaving our responsibilities behind, we all agreed this thing we must see. We had already testified to the glory of the Lord once this night, and we would see an even greater glory later this eve, wrapped in cloths and lying in a feeding trough.

3 comments:

DugALug said...

How about these 6 for consideration:

Penumbra
Vigilance
Expansive
Decimated
Blistering
Monolithic

-Doug

Rich said...

Doug!

Hey! Thanks for playing. Just so you know, the comments are under the posts (it's sorta confusing, I know) - but don't worry, your words are under consideration.

Of course, putting them under my Luke 2 retelling kinda of makes me think:

As the shepherds watched their flocks with vigilance, a monolithic figure appeared set in glaring light over the expansive plain, and his blistering presence left the sheep herders decimated until the light vanished, casting a penumbra across the valley.

Whew.

BTW, congrats on your Bengals overcoming the Steelers. They look like the second best team in the NFL right now.

DugALug said...

Rich,

A clever use of words, I must say. And to think, we went to Auburn!

I am sorry that Miami isn't better this year. I have faith that Indianapolis will choke... gag... you know mess up. They are good at doing that, plus there can only be one... with a perfect season, that is. I also think that the Stealers are still the best in our conference... with a healthy Rothlisberger.

Have you ever looked at www.bangcartoon.com? Take a gander. I think you would like their cartoons.

-Doug