“Is that him?”
Mary and Joseph look up. Behind them stand three men and a boy. Two of them carry shepherd’s crooks, but there are no animals with them.
“Is that him?” the older one of the visitors asks again.
“Who?” Joseph releases Mary’s hand and rises to his feet.
“The Mashiac (Messiah),” he replies. “We were told we would find him here in the stables, sleeping in a manger.”
Shocked, both Mary and Joseph turn to the boy, who continues to slumber soundly.
“Who told you this?” Joseph asks turning back to the shepherd.
The man seems hesitant to respond, but with a nod from his companions, he says, “We were out in the fields near here, keeping watch over our flock, when a…man, a malakh (angel) appeared before us. We were terrified, but he greeted us and said, ‘Don’t be afraid. I’ve come to bring you great news. Today a savior was born for you in the city of David. And this is a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.’ Then, as he finished speaking, there was a multitude of malakhs behind him, filling up the fields and the heavens, singing, Glory to G-d in the highest heaven and peace on earth! And as suddenly as they appeared, they disappeared. We said to each other, ‘We need to go to Bethlehem and see this thing the L-rd has made known to us.’”
The shepherd ends his tale with an expectant look on his face: was this him, their savior?
Joseph glances back at Mary once more, and then steps aside to give them access to their Mashiac. Mary sits up, protectively, then forces herself to relax. After all, Jesus did not belong to just her and Joseph: he was born for all.
(Excerpt from Full of Grace)