Christmas Eve 2016
The shepherd sat upon his rock,
the fire burning low.
A night so cold cried out for flame,
for warmth and not for show.
He was not hidden, a lonely guard,
attending to his flock.
This hillside spread beneath the stars
where grazing was his stock.
Open above, slope bending east,
Bethlehem to the west,
He and his fellows long had paced
these fields for forage and rest.
Some said a youthful David did
watch over Jesse's beasts
In these same fields where today
they had their humble feasts.
Now gnawing bread and chewing slow
this shepherd to his fire
Huddled closer, seeking warmth while
recalling heav'nly choirs.
They all had seen and heard the hail
from angels bending low.
Each shepherd wanted to respond
but one was not to go.
So this lone task the shepherd's drawn
to watch out o'er the sheep.
The rest all ran to Bethlehem,
the vision's promise keep.
What would he miss, the guardian thought,
of God's own Word made known;
A babe whose place in some great plan
In some time yet be shown.
Alone, but for the sheep his care,
the shepherd thought, and prayed.
Then suddenly above appeared
one wing'ed youthful maid.
A single member of the host
again was present there;
Returned this one - to sing for him,
To honor faithful prayer.
She sang to warm his heart, her song
rang out from up to down;
Her music's flow described what was
revealed to those in town.
The birth of Jesus set before
him though the distance long
Between him and his shepherd friends
meant that he'd not belong.
But this lone angel sent by God
to reassure the one
That on his watch, to faithful hope,
a heavenly answer'd come.
His place was with the flock, and there
The presence of the Lord
would also be made known, to those
obedient to his Word.
While shepherds were the Savior shown,
a guardian kept his faith;
And God was present to each & all
Just as the promise sayeth.
The angel then withdrew, but he
no longer felt alone.
He felt his place in God's great plan
while sitting on his stone.
At times we each may find that we're
left outside in the cold,
And wonder if we are within
the story God has told.
Let angels sing, and listen we
to their music soft and clear,
Whose harmonies should tell us all
Our Lord is with us here.