Historical setting: 561 C.E. Gaul
We’re shuttered from the winter so not the slightest starlight seeps here. The silence in darkness owns this table of Eve. Sure the stew is steaming but in six separate bowls. Wafts of fragrant herbs rise in six individual mists, one for each separate person. The bread is still a warm body, unbroken. The baby is sleeping. The six who are us on these benches are much too silent for such a feast as this. Maybe a habit lingers here of the mundane. Is there nothing to be said among six people at a feast?
I plunder the silence with the story.
“So what do you think the angel told the shepherds to do?” I asked. “Just a hint, if it was an angel it was probably a message from God.”
“I think I know.” Daniel was reluctant to say it. “The angel said God wants you to stop picking on each other.”
Ezra and Eve know this story well. Ezra laughed aloud and Eve drew her veil over a smile I nearly glimpsed.
“That could be what angels would say on most any other night, but this was a special night and the angel told the shepherds they had to go that very second and look for God’s new baby because it was a gift to the whole world. Then before the shepherds could even figure out how to do that the whole sky was full of singing angels. For a few minutes they just stood there listening until the angels faded back into the sky!”
“I think I saw that myself one night some years ago. It were in the northern sky and I can’t forget the sight of it.” Ezra added his truth to the story. “It were all light and color, filling that entire part of the sky, bright pink sky with pillars of white light, dancing, nearly dancing. But what I now think I was seeing were the angel choirs from the back of them. They had no faces toward me and no one told me not to be afraid so I feared even though it were all so beautiful.”
“So,” I asked, “How would they find that baby in all that glory and bright? Where would you go look to find God’s own baby?”
(Continues on Tuesday, December 24)