The City doesn’t need sun or moon for light. God’s Glory is its light, the Lamb its lamp
(Rev. 21:23 – The Message)!
Well past midnight on Christmas Eve, we made our way to the barn and to the pasture beyond. No celestial orb lit the way. No stars could be seen. We walked through mist, though a cozy bed beckoned, because this little girl still believes in miracles among the animals at Christmas – even in the dust and dung. So we brought an offering of crackers and carrots – something special for the most humble of creatures to whom our Savior chose to come on that very first Christmas, so long ago.
The goats blinked at the unexpected light that filled their stall. Dust particles illuminated turned to scattered diamonds and fell upon us as our Nigerian Dwarfs accepted the treats. Amy, the oldest (and wisest), sidled up to me, and I stroked her gently. She seemed to almost understand and appreciate our wishes for a blessed Christmas.
We walked outside and through the gate into the pasture. Our faithful sheepdog Finley wagged his greeting, happy to see us in the middle of the night. Mick, our Missouri Fox Trotter, nickered hello. We gave each some food – commenting on the comfort found in a horse’s quiet chewing.
Just beyond the hay feeder, our flock of sheep blinked their surprise and curiosity. Taking a tentative step toward them, they scattered. Fearful and untamed, they rarely allow anyone near, and this night was no different, though I’d hoped. Thus, we wished the menagerie “Merry Christmas! God bless you,” then made our way back to the house.
And although we’ve made this midnight trek in years past, this time held greater, richer significance – hearing the echoes of a humble man named Travis Roberts as he encouraged us at our Christmas Eve Eve service. In prayer, we were called to approach the manger in our minds as lambs, to behold in such humility – in our fear and curiosity – the Lamb who came to tame the wild, comfort the worried, give rest to the weary. The Lamb who was and is to us a light illumines our darkness, making diamonds from our dust. Yes, Jesus – our Hope – is born!
May the eternal, true light of Christ shine in our hearts today and in the coming New Year, shining forth to a fearful, yet untamed world and offering the Miracle of Christmas to those still living in darkness. And may we find ourselves often at the manger.
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone” (Isaiah 9:2 – ESV).