The night the animals talked
Christmas is just a few days away and the anticipation of the holiday season is building. The kids search the night skies for Santa and the wondrous Christmas Star has shown around the world. The year 2020 has led us down so many unknown paths that we are anxiously awaiting the splendor of Christmas.
With the Christmas Star appearing for us this year for the first time in many lifetimes, I have found myself wondering more about the night in the stable. It is easy for me to imagine the smells, sights and sounds of the that night and becomes all the more intriguing. How could a baby be born in such a place?
Among many beliefs and stories surrounding Christmas there are several telling of the baby Jesus who was born at the stroke of midnight in the stable in Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph were the only ones present along with the well known animals of the stable they had found. With no one else around God gave the animals the gift to speak to praise the newborn
"I," said the donkey, shaggy and brown,
"I carried His mother up hill and down;
I carried her safely to Bethlehem town."
"I," said the donkey, shaggy and brown.
"I," said the cow, all white and red
"I gave Him my manger for a bed;
I gave Him my hay to pillow His head."
"I," said the cow, all white and red.
"I," said the sheep with curly horn,
"I gave Him my wool for His blanket warm;
He wore my coat on Christmas morn."
"I," said the sheep with curly horn.
"I," said the dove from the rafters high,
"Cooed Him to sleep that He should not cry;
We cooed Him to sleep, my mate and I."
"I," said the dove from the rafters high.
"I," said the camel, yellow and black,
"Over the desert, upon my back,
I brought Him a gift in the Wise Men's pack."
"I," said the camel, yellow and black.
So, on Christmas Eve, when we do our daily chores we might stand a bit longer in the silence of the animals and listen as they quietly eat. We are reminded that there is no place more humbling to find ourselves than in a barn with the smells, sights and sounds that Jesus experienced at his birth.
The legend says that at midnight the animals bow down and pray and for their evening feeding they get the baled hay from the field that has the tastiest grasses.
While we won't be there at midnight.. I wonder if our barn will have a little magic that is Christmas.