Josephus the Shepherd

97, 98, 99…One seemed to be missing on that cold silent night. The absent minded, overly enthusiastic, frail lamb. My favorite! I couldnt find her. I was worried, and searched teary eyed for her. I knew the wolves would come soon if they would as much smell the prey.

As my brothers (Jacob and Jonah the fisherman) and I, Josephus searched for the lamb, the strangest of things happened. A light shone from the heavens. It was the most spectacular thing I had ever seen. No! This was no LIGHT. This was GLORY! All of us saw it! It was no dream.

Lo and behold! An angel! We shrieked in horror and hid behind the rocks when we saw him. With the voice as calm as a gentle breeze, he spoke, “Do not be afraid! I am bringing you good news of great joy to all people. Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is Christ the Lord.”

My heart was filled with hope, joy and peace. I looked to my brothers as we gathered in a teary huddle. Suddenly, a large group of angels joined the first angel. They sang Alleluias in tones and scales we never heard or knew! It was by far the most melodious orchestra ever. Their voices were.. well.. angelic! “Glory to God in the highest ! Peace and goodwill to those with whom he is well pleased”.

They disappeared as they appeared. I looked to my brothers and screamed, ” Let’s find this child”. I looked to my sheep. I looked towards the city of David. I had to make a choice. We went to the city of David, leaving our sheep behind. I was concerned for my lost lamb. I went anyways, for this was more important. I knew that I was born, for such an hour as this. I picked my drum and ran!

We found the helpless, wailing little babe wrapped in swaddling clothes as he lay in the feeding trough meant to feed the livestock. The mother was tired and the father sat by the trough as he shooed mosquitoes away from the baby’s face. The cow and the donkey kept watch. Oh! The most beautiful of faces! The most flushed of baby cheeks! This was the Rose of Sharon! His birth was announced by the whole host of heaven. And yet, this boy was born in obscurity. Just like I was. His birth was bathed in humility of the rarest sorts.

“Can I drum for him?”, I begged the mother. She weakly smiled as Joseph approvingly nodded. I played my best for him ! Ta ra ra rum pum! The baby paused crying for a second and then cried louder. I had to stop!

As I took my eyes off the drum, turned my eyes to Him, and looked into His wonderful face. The things of the earth went strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.

We left singing praises to God! I told everyone on the way, but few believed. It hurt that a lot of them laughed at me. But I had boundless peace and infinite joy within me . As I reached the spot where I left my sheep, I spotted in the corner, my little lamb. My favorite! My joy knew no bounds as I ran to her and hugged her! “He is born”, I told my fluffy lamb as I took her on my shoulders! “My Savior is born! My Immanuel. My Shepherd! My Hope. My King! They named him Jesus!”

“Meh” the lamb joyously replied. Oh, I wish I could understand the language of the lamb! It was the best day of my life. I lay in the grass and prayed silently that my boy, Barthelomew, and the sons of Jonah would befriend this Jesus someday!

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