What was it like to be in the presence of the baby who is our Savior? We asked readers to imagine what was going through the minds of the individuals (and animals) who met the infant Jesus.
Worshipping angels lowered the volume of their praise as the supreme God was about to speak. A voice with loving authority said, “Gabriel, you have been sent on many important assignments, but none will rival this. Your assignment is to deliver the good news of My greatest gift, the coming of Jesus. The woman’s name is Mary. Go, Gabriel; go to Nazareth and tell Mary!”
For the entire journey we angels tuned our devices to Earth Channel One to witness this milestone event. Gabriel’s arrival to Mary’s side received thunderous applause. We were full of joy as Gabriel uttered the words that would drastically change the fortunes of Planet Earth.
Silver Spring, Maryland
Lord, what an experience! Here I am with my dear wife
and her newborn baby. Who would have thought all this would take place?
All I was looking for was a wife to help me raise my children. Yet You’ve given me so much more. To be the father of my Lord is a privilege I never could have imagined. Still, I will do my best to raise Him in Your fear. Please help me, Lord.
Look at how tenderly He sleeps, as if He had not a care in the world, so peaceful. His peace gives me peace.
It was hard to find this humble place. Thank You, Lord, for Your providence. Yet how unfitting is this place for the King of the universe. How much has He humbled Himself to save us. It shows the spirit we ought to have toward one another. Humanity will be all the better for it.
I have longed for the coming of Messiah since I was a child. Now there is less hope in the world than ever before. And now, well, it’s too good to be true. At first, angels visited us this night to say that our King is born! Only prophets from ancient times were allowed to see heavenly beings face to face! And more, it’s happening now, when it seems impossible because people live for other purposes.
Before, when I thought about the coming Messiah, I thought I would buy something valuable for Him as a sign of honor. I’d wear my best robe. But after the visit of angels I didn’t have time to go shopping. So here I am, beside the manger, just as I am. The Boy, the One I waited for, sleeps so quietly. He has come at last!
Most nights I don’t mind working in the stable. It’s quiet and filled with my friends, the animals. People are harder to deal with.
Strangers arrived all day long. Most were far past being kind to me or to their animals. They either shouted instructions at me or abandoned their animals at the door and assumed I would take care of them.
The Nazarene wasn’t that way. For him I was happy to move Jesse’s sheep in with Hiram’s, so that his woman would have a little privacy. Jesse and Hiram could sort out their sheep in the morning.
I tried to sleep, but the man kept nudging me awake, panicked and needing this or that. He wouldn’t let me near the stall, but I’d heard animals giving birth before, and I figured it out. Then I heard the Babe cry, and watched the tension drain from the man’s face.
Finally, a place to rest! It took awhile to find it. I kept being led away from places that looked promising. But in this place I was relieved of my burden. Or was it a burden?
Strange noises and movements. Something was in the place where I usually find food. It was small, but it looked like the ones I came with to this place, the one who led me, the one I carried on my back. I stood in my place, observing, listening, yet the excitement stirred something inside me. I was part of this. The Creator had used ones like me before, but this was different.
I am a beast of burden. Yet I sensed that my burden, now visible, was actually Someone who would forever change the place the Creator made for us to live, not just this place of rest.
I know everything. Trained in the best schools by the best teachers, I’ve immersed myself in the best of education and knowledge to be wise.
I’ve studied the stars for years, and this particular star came out of nowhere and illuminated the sky with a glory unlike history would ever see. I followed the star for months across the desert. I know everything, yet this I don’t know.
His face is peaceful, smiling in sweet slumber. He seems to glow with a heavenly light I can’t explain. As I gaze into His face, my years of acquired knowledge are reduced to dust. Kneeling in the presence of God is where I come to see my feebleness and my need. I’m simply a human. I have everything; I know everything. But nothing means anything to me as it used to. This Baby has become the everything I must come to know. The journey to know Him has just begun.
As I pass the stable I look in on the woman to see how she is holding up in this makeshift lodging. But I close my mouth lest I disturb the moments the mother shares with her Son.
As Mary touches His fingers, I can’t help but think that all this talk of angels and a virgin birth does not make sense to me. But it clearly makes perfect sense to Joseph and Mary as they tell their story with conviction.
And the shepherds? “Do you believe me now?” she breaks the silence.
“Yes,” I manage to whisper. “Can I hold Him?”
Suddenly I hear, “Do not be afraid, the Lord is with you.”