paced over the hills and dunes, searching for the lost lamb. “Dad’s gonna kill
me,” he muttered. “I’ve lost yet another one of his precious sheep. Arrgh! At
least the glow from the moon is helping me see.” In his desperate state he didn’t
realize that there was no moon shining at all.[i]
Had he looked up (or ‘look-ed up’ as
the song goes) he would have seen that the glow in the sky was not the moon but
a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the
highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.’ But he saw and heard nothing because he was
focused on finding this flipping sheep. How he hated sheep. He was always in
trouble with his father for daydreaming in the field when he should have been
watching the flock. Inevitably one would wander off somewhere. He had even lost a few to wolves, finding
only some fluff and a few bones left over from a lupine feast.
dad wasn’t even his real dad. His folks had found Michael in a basket by the
side of the road and his dad had finally given in to his moms pleading to take the
baby home and they adopted him. His
birth dad didn’t want him. His adoptive dad didn’t want him. Nobody wanted him.
Sulking he kicked at the sand and stones, his bottom lip slipped into a pout
and his face assumed a ‘poor me’ posture. Shoving his hands into his ruddy
brown robes he trudged on. Never once
lifting his head to see the miracle in his midst.
back at the angelic host, Bruce, a young angel felt a nudge from above and
turned his head to see a figure tramping across the desert. He looked up
towards heaven. “Me?” he questioned. “But my wings haven’t even grown out all
he heard God’s say in His ever-loving, peace filled, firm voice.
Bruce gazed once more at the pathetic
figure, hunched over and wandering around with no sense of direction and
sighed. This was a heavy assignment for
his first gig. But he knew he had to be obedient, so he left the glow of glory
and flew unsteadily toward the wandering shepherd.
landed a few steps in front of Michael who plodded on doggedly, his head still
staring at the ground. When he saw
Michael wasn’t going to stop, he yelled, “Hark!”
head snapped up and his feet skidded in the sand. They were almost nose to
nose. “Hark?” exclaimed Michael. “Who says hark for crying out loud?”
say hark,” replied Bruce, “And I’m an angel.”
laughed out loud. “You’re an angel? You’re puny and short and where’s your
I’m an angel,” said Bruce, folding his arms over his chest, slightly offended.
He whipped around to show Michael his stubby wings, one longer that the other.
“See, I even have wings.”
call those wings?” Michael snorted. “I’ve seen better wings on a buzzard.” A vision of a buzzard gnawing on a lamb
reminded him of his quest for the lost sheep. “Look, I don’t have time for your
shenanigans. I’ve lost a sheep and I’m in major trouble if I don’t find it. I
gotta get going.”
closed his deep sapphire eyes and tilted his face heavenward. Michael had
turned to go. Taking a deep breath Bruce spoke to his back. “Michael,” he said
tenderly but firmly, I’ve been sent to show you a lamb. A lamb who has been
sent for lost sheep like you. Sheep that
nobody wants. He has been sent to give
you hope and a future.”
balked. “Don’t you get it? I must find my dad’s sheep, or I am dust! AND I have
to get back to the rest of the flock. I don’t have time for this nonsense.”
waved a wing and suddenly another angel joined them. “Michael, this is Bob. Bob
is an angel too. He’s very good with animals. He will look after the flock and
he will search for the one who is lost.”
said Bruce. “Come with me to see a lamb who will save the world. Aren’t you even curious? Come on. What have
you got to lose?”
thought Michael, my whole family in fact. I could be back on the streets
without one but now I’m too big for a basket. Yet there was something in
Bruce’s manner that drew him. Something he couldn’t quite put his finger
on. He almost couldn’t help himself. “Ok,”
he said quietly, “I’ll go.” Then he added, “Are you sure we can trust Bob?”
said Bruce, “and I’ll bring you back in no time.”
it far?” asked Michael.
far. Just climb on my back and I’ll fly us there.”
You expect me to hop on your back with those wonky looking wings?”
me,” said Bruce extending his hand, “I have come to give you hope.”
now I’m just hoping I don’t end up as wolf bait in the desert after we crash
land.” Michael took Bruce’s hand and climbed on board.
a rather rocky take off, with Michael hanging on for dear life, eyes wide as
saucers, they settled into a smooth flight towards Bethlehem.
the first time Michael looked up and his jaw dropped as he spotted the
multitude of angels off to his left. “Where did all those angels come from and
what are they doing here?” he questioned.
chuckled, “That’s what I am going to show you. They bring good news.”
was awestruck and speechless. He watched the angels until they disappeared from
view and he turned round to see the torch lights of Bethlehem getting closer.
landing was much more successful and gentler than their take off and they both
stood on the quiet streets in Bethlehem.
Michael saw they were around the corner from an inn. It was closed for
the night but in the stable next door a glowing light emanated. Bruce motioned
for Michael to follow him. They walked
in silence to the stable entrance where the scent of straw and manure made him
wrinkle his whole face in disgust, but he never said a word. They peered around the stone doorway and
Michael was struck with wonder. In the
middle of the stable was a man and a woman and in the manger before them,
nestled in the straw, a baby. There were
shepherds inside. He peered closer. His stepbrother was there and his Father.
At least the only father he had ever known. They were both kneeling beside the
baby in the hay, marveling at the newborn. Michael drew back. They had never marveled
at him that way when he was young. He stole another peek. What was so special
about this baby, he wondered. He couldn’t stop staring.
hand on his arm brought him out of his reverie and Bruce stood beside him.
baby is the lamb I was talking about. He has come to save the world. To be a
sacrifice for all people. A lamb without blemish. If you had seen and heard the
angels in the fields they were talking to your father and brother and the other
shepherds you see gathered inside the stable. This is what the lead angel said,
‘Fear not. Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all
people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a saviour, which is
Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you, you will find the babe
wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.’ Then the rest of the angels
joined him, including me. That’s when God told me to come to you so you would
know there is hope born for you this night.”
felt a stirring inside. A warmth and a knowing and a tear gently rolled down
his cheek. He wrapped his head around the entrance once more and saw his dad
and brother preparing to leave. In panic he turned to Bruce. “We have to go! If
they find I’ve left the flock, I am toast.”
smiled gently and touched Michael’s arm once more. “It’ll be ok but let’s go.”
climbed once more onto Bruce’s back and they ascended into the night and back
out to the field where they met Bob. The flock was intact and even the lost
sheep was found.
you, Bruce. And thank the Lord for sending you to me. I’m not sure what to make
of it all but I feel a stirring in my heart that I can’t explain.”
will become clear.” said Bruce.
looked into the night across the plain and could see Michael’s Dad and brother
have to go now.” said Bruce, “It will be ok.”
looked into Bruce’s deep, peaceful sapphire eyes and knew he spoke the truth.
Then just as suddenly as they came, the angels were gone.
Michael turned to see his dad and
brother coming near. He could see their faces now, still shining from their
experience in the stable. His Dad laid a gentle hand on his arm and spoke.
my son, we have something wonderful to share with you.”
All Biblical references are KJV or NIV