John 1:1-14, Luke 2:1-14
Dr. Anne M. Cameron
December 24, 2007
A Christmas Story for Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church
Lamb had trouble sleeping that night. Lamb had trouble sleeping every night. Sometimes he got in trouble for it. During the day when they were supposed to be learning new things, Lamb would fall asleep. It was not his fault. It was the stars. They twinkled so brightly, he could not keep his eyes closed at night. Cuddled up next to his mama, he had the perfect place to star gaze, and he did it almost every night.
It was clear and cold tonight. It was like you could almost see forever up there in the stars. Lamb knew the stars were important. The stars had meaning and messages and they made patterns. They made beautiful pictures: a lion, a lady, a warrior, a bear.
Lamb had been watching with special interest lately because something very strange was happening in the stars. Lately there was one up there, extra bright. It was near to where the Lion sat up in the night sky. The Lion, Lamb knew, was the sign of what the humans called their Judah Family. Judah was special. This was the family where a new King would come from. Maybe this bright star meant something. Lamb wondered. He would ask his mama. "Mama, what does it mean?" She shook her head. She didn't know.
The other sheep thought Lamb was silly with his questions and his head in the stars. They made fun of him, calling him Sleepy Head and Star Eyes. All they wanted to do was sleep all night.
One reason they wanted to sleep a lot was Night was scary. Danger was out there in the night. A wolf howling, a thief stealing. It's frightening. The humans were there to help, though. They were there to protect Lamb from bad things in the night, things waiting out there, ready to snatch up a little Lamb.
Even though the others made fun of him, Lamb kept on with his star gazing and his star learning. The special book the humans read from, the scrolls they studied so hard, said the stars came from God. God made the whole bunch of stars out there and God gave a name to each star. (Isaiah 40:26). So Lamb thought it must be good to learn about something the humans thought so important, too. "Watch for the light" Lamb would tell himself every night when the others were fast asleep.
Lamb was afraid he might miss something and boy was he right tonight! All of a sudden he heard a huge sound coming from the sky! What was it? "Wake up, humans, wake up! Look in the sky? What can it be?"
The humans were soooo scared. Lamb had never ever seen them so scared, not even when they had a whole pack of hungry wolves around them! What is it? "An angel", one said, his voice cracking. "A messenger from God", another said, running off into the night.
The angel must have known how they were feeling because the angel said, "Don't be scared! I have good news! Today the new King is born, the one who will save your people. Go look to where the star is. Watch for the bright Light. Follow it. Go find the baby King. See for yourself what God has done."
Then, even more frightening, a whole BUNCH of angels were there, all of a sudden, singing loud and making the most beautiful music sounds Lamb had ever heard! (though this is not saying a lot because Lamb had not heard hardly any music before). But Lamb knew he had never before seen such brightness in the sky, or such wonders. And somehow Lamb knew he never would again. More than anything he wanted to follow the Light and see the baby King.
Lamb couldn't believe he was the only sheep awake but he was. And he was not going to wake his mama and ask permission to go. No, he was going. And off he ran, behind these terrified shepherds (I know they don't look very scared in my book, but believe me, they were shaking in their shoes). He ran off, without his mama's permission, he had to run the whole way to keep up with the humans. His legs were rather short. But somehow he did it.
And boy it was worth it. Under the bright star, the new King was there, just like the angel said he would be. Just a baby. Didn't look much like a King, from what Lamb had heard about kings. His family didn't look very much like a King's family either. They were poor. They were so poor they put the baby King into the cow's food dish to sleep. Now you know the cow's food dish is big, but it's not very nice for a new baby. But that's where the baby slept.
But the light! Oh, the light in the mother's eyes! The twinkle in the father's face! It was something magnificent, something so big Lamb couldn't stop thinking "Watch for the Light". Because the Light was there. The Light of the world was right there, a baby King in a cow's dish. The baby's face was so Light, Lamb knew, no matter what, it would never grow dim. No matter the scary things that would happen, no matter how badly the world would treat him, no matter how much fun the others would make of him, the Light of the world would never stop shining.
One of the humans whispered, "God has come to save us. God has come to pitch his tent with us, to live with us. And we, you and I, Lamb, we have seen God's glory, there in the heavens, and here in this cow's dish. Full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).
Lamb hurried home behind the shepherds. He couldn't wait to tell his mama what he had seen and what he had heard, and how the Light of the world was here and now! How he had watched for the Light, and now the Light was shining and things would never be the same, never, ever again.