By Benjamin H. Liles
Bright star, do you see this thing going on? Do you notice this thing that's taking place before my eyes? I'm here keeping watch over a flock of sheep. The night so cold and deep. I stay with them in the hopes they will be kept safe and secure. But there's this action going on. Later on someone will sing "Do you see what I see?" But I'm telling you about this. This is the most amazing thing I have ever witnessed.
Did you know an angel appeared before my brothers and I while we sat and kept that watchful vigil? We did so to make sure not one hair on their heads ever came to harm. And yet when this angel appeared to us, saying, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10-12).
And still we were amazed. We sat there a moment watching this thing happen in Heaven, when suddenly we saw not only the angel who appeared to us, but a mighty host arrayed in God’s highest glory. We know what they said and we repeat it now to you: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
I can’t begin to tell you how greatly terrified and amazed were we. We sat a moment and discussed everything we had seen and heard. Could it be true? After four hundred years of having no prophet’s voice, could t be God has gifted us with such mercy and grace to bestow on us His child? What manner of love is this made manifest? What will happen to him? At least that’s the questions I had in my mind.
My brothers and I suddenly started talking. The youngest said, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then.” I said after him, Let’s see this thing that has happened.” My other brother loudly said, “The Lord has made this known to us; let us go down to see this!”
So we started down from the side of the small hill where we allowed the sheep to graze. Luckily for us we also had a servant who we always treated as family. We left him there to watch the sheep. So, we gathered our tunics and staves, and started down the slope to see this wonderful and amazing thing which had been told to us.
I can’t begin to tell you that while we were going down to see this happy event that I noticed the star that had been passing overhead now hung over where we were going to. It hung there as if saying, “Here! Here is the Lord and King!” I was so in awe over the whole thing. I found I had no voice and as we kept walking I found every step I took I was feeling weaker. It was like my legs turned to jelly.
Nevertheless, my brothers and I walked on through the town to where the star was just before us. It was there, in this cave, not far from an inn we saw a soft light coming from within. We hurried as best we could to see this amazing story we were just told. We first saw her, laying there, still perspiring from having given birth. Her husband, as we believe him to be, smiled at us and waved us to come on.
Her cheeks were full of life, rosy as could be. She held this prince of babes in her arms softly talking sweetly to him. He told us with a finger to his lips, “He looks asleep, so be sure to talk low if you do talk.”
I couldn’t help myself. I softly proclaimed, “God on high You caused this thing to come to pass. Those angels we encountered surely were your messengers!” I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was. I heard one of my other brothers exclaim, “This is the Son of God!” And then, I saw, in my mind’s eye what was to come. This tree was standing there, on a head of someone. On this tree was a man, crying out in pain. It was too terrible a sight to see. A snake, this serpent bit his heel, but at the same time his foot gave a sweltering crown of pain to the serpent’s head. And then he cried out, “It is finished!”
When I came back to myself, she was still a lovely looking girl, holding this newborn babe in her arms. It seemed I had been seeing this thing I just saw as if it took a day long to witness. And yet it all took place in a manner of moments. Seeing that tree, that man on it, on the skull; frightening. I never understood it.
Three other men came and gave their gifts. My brothers and I we had brought nothing but ourselves. We lay prostrate for a moment giving God our thanks, and offering him our praise. All we could give to him that night, in the presence of that baby boy was our hearts.
Now, years later after all these things have passed, I recall seeing that baby grow to a man. He came to fulfill the commands of God. He went to the Roman’s cross that was made. It happened on Golgotha, the place of the skull. And as I recount these events, even now, I realize this one thing: this baby had come to die for our sins. My life had changed the night of his birth, and now my life has truly changed more so since I no longer live, but he lives in me. Glory to God in the highest!