The black velvet sky began to come alive with the twinkling of countless stars. All lie quiet on the soft rolling hills surrounding Bethlehem. The sheep slept with only an occasional bleating interrrupting the stillness of the evening.
David stretched, pulling his cloak closer as a shield to ward off the coldness. He poked at the embers of the fire, causing a sudden warmth to flame upon his cheeks. He glanced at his fellow shepherds, who were still dozing. It was his turn to have night watch duty. He often found it difficult to stay awake, but tonight was different. He glanced over his shoulder, anticipating something.
"It must be my imagination," David murmured to himself. "The sheep are quiet tonight."
The hours passed. As David prepared to awaken Nathaniel for his shift, a bright light filled the night sky. David shielded his eyes, reaching for his staff.
"W-Who goes there?" he called, hating the way his voice cracked.
David continued to stare at the brilliant light. He squinted, wondering if he saw the shape of a man with wings. He blinked his eyes, straining to see.
"I must be dreaming."
"What is it?" Nathaniel asked, joining him.
David was ready to reply, when a voice from the heavens interrupted him.
"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
The skies were filled with a multitude of angels and in one voice they proclaimed, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men whom his favor rests."
As quickly as the angels appeared, the skies were now deserted. David observed that all of his friends were awake and saw the glorious sight.
To be continued............