Hello, my friends!
In celebration of our Savior’s birth, I recently wrote a short story titled Listen to the Angels. I had a lovely time writing it for you all, and for me. There is so much joy and wonder in this miracle and season, and I hope this story reminds you of the truth, light, and love that happened so long ago in that stable.
We just sang this hymn in our church last week, and it’s one of my favorites. <3 If you’re up for it, listen to it while you read or afterward.
As a disclaimer, this is obviously not to be taken as gospel truth. Although I’ve collected as many insights as I could from the Bible, advent devotionals, general knowledge, etc., this is just me imagining what it would be like to be a part of the first Christmas story, the joy, awe, and wonderfulness of this event. All Scripture is KJV.
Get a cup of hot cocoa or tea, a cozy blanket, settle in to read, and please enjoy. <3
The wind whispered through the starlit sky, cooling the musty desert air and sending a chill up Peter’s body. He wrapped his arms around himself and sank back into the cool rock; the stars above glittered the sky and in the distance, the shadows of the quiet and restful sheep could be seen. He smiled up at the sky. . . this evening was a beautiful one, one that his mother would call a blessing. Cool nights like this were rare, especially during the dry season. His eyelids were heavy and all he wanted to do was slip away into sleep, but he knew the consequences would be heavy if he did that. His father would be disappointed in him, and his younger brothers were unsure of if they really should believe in him and follow his example. He had to guard the sheep and make sure not one of them strayed.
Stretching his legs, he tried to remove the tightness of being still for so long. First at school that day, and now here. Peter wandered through the familiar darkness that blanketed him, he knew where each rock in this pasture was, each small stick, each snake hole. . . he might as well have lived here. This was his life. Outside of school, this was where he went each day, giving his father a moment to rest and take care of the other household duties. He had grown up to love the sheep, and in a few years, would become a shepherd himself, just like his father and grandfather before him. It wasn’t the most pleasant life. Most looked upon you as someone who was dirty and unreliable, lowly and rough. But as his father had explained to him so many times, it was the best they could do as a family who had been thought of as did honorable after his grandfather’s sin years ago. And the best thing you could do was learn to love shepherding and the sheep. Make it your duty to protect them and keep them safe for the man you were working for.
He carefully avoided a hole that he knew if he stepped into would send him flying and disrupt the sheep. Peter didn’t think he had an unpleasant life, just different. Most of the boys at his school were rich and wore fine robes made of purples and blues, but Peter was in a worn, dark brown shawl. Still, he was attending school. His parents were doing everything they could to send him through school, for that was the proper way. It would be a disgrace if he wasn’t there, but the days when he sat there, trapped in the dark building and looking out into the busy village. . . he wished he wasn’t in school.
He saw a shadow far out and recognized it as his father coming out into the field to take his turn, and from around the hills, he noticed a few more silhouettes illuminating themselves in the darkness as other shepherds. These men had been out all day and all night, and few of them had homes like he did. It was odd for a shepherd to have a family, but his father was not ordinary. He realized the moon was high in the sky now, and it was very dark out. Soon, he was surrounded by a group of people, gathering to discuss before the night and real work began. There were so many predators for the sheep: lions, bears, snakes even, and the more men there were out here, the more likely they were to stay away. The heat of the fire for once felt pleasant, it was a rare feeling, usually, the fire’s heat was unwanted, but that was on the warmer days—It was the only way to truly keep the sheep safe, and you could see fires burning off in the distance. Fire is dangerous, though, and you have to be careful where you build one.
“Good evening, son,” his father greeted him.
“Evening,” Peter greeted, putting his hands against the flame. “Be about time for you to go in, yes?”
“Yes,” Peter agreed, “I will, Father.”
“Good,” His father then turned his attention to the other shepherds gathered around. All of them worked for the mighty man, guarding and protecting his sheep, but Peter’s father was the head of them all.
“James, you are in the field over yonder,” he motioned, “Jacob, over there too, build the fire and keep it burning to keep the creatures away,” he gave various assignments, and just as Peter was about to follow his father’s direction and make his way to the stone house, a noise erupted.
Out of the darkness, in the airy night sky, a bright light shone about. . . Peter could feel his heart racing and he could read the fear across his father’s and each of the other men’s faces. What was happening? An angel appeared. An angel was about them. . . just like he had heard about in school. Panic swept over him. Breathe, Peter, breathe. But he did not have any breath left. Breathe, Peter, breathe. But there wasn’t air for him to breathe from. All of the men, men who had fought off bears and lions, snakes and lizards, and all of the most vicious creatures in their land were shaking. . . their faces pale. The light was blinding him. . . he couldn’t see his father. Where was he? Breath, Peter, breathe, he told himself. And then a voice arose, and the angel, the angel spoke. “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. or unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
The Savior. Christ the Lord. The Messiah. His Savior. The one his great-grandfather, grandfather, father, and how many before that had been waiting for. The One he, Peter, a lowly sheperd’s son himself, was waiting for. He could feel joy sweeping over his body, how long had they waited for this moment? How long? 400 years. . .years that had been filled with pain, with heartache, with wondering. . .Would the promise be fulfilled?
And here it was. The Savior, the Messiah, had come to them. The Lord had not forgotten them.
In moments, excitement and joy had swept over Peter, and soon, out of the darkness, a multitude of angels appeared. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” When Peter thought back to this moment, it felt like it had lasted forever. But it had truly only been a few minutes. As quickly as they had come, the angels disappeared into the darkness.
“Our Savior, Father. . . is it our Savior?” Peter’s eyes looked longing into his father’s, full of hope.
“Our Savior, He is,” his father’s face was full of emotions, “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.”
“Father. . . I must go. . .oh father. . . don’t leave me now. I must, father. . . I’ve waited, and waited. . . please father. . .” Peter pleaded, his eyes full of wishing and hope.
“You may go, Peter. . . it won’t be a short journey, but it will be worth it,” his father answered and joy shivered through Peter’s body. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” His father whispered into the night sky. “Peter, come with me, and may the rest of you prepare yourselves for the journey.”
“The sheep? What about the sheep?” One of the men asked.
“The sheep?” Peter’s father’s eyes looked alive and bright. “The sheep. . . they’re nothing. This. . . this is our everything.” And with that, it was decided. Peter was going to see the Messiah, the Savior. This was whom they had waited for. For 400 years. The prophecies ran through his head. . .story after story. Prophecy after prophecy. That was when Peter realized that those weren’t stories. . .they were truths coming to life that night. The stone house was dark, and Peter slid in quietly. His mother, sitting at the small table with a single candle burning was working on fixing one of Andrew’s, his younger brother’s shirts. “The Messiah, Mother, the Messiah. He is here.”
Peter’s mother looked up in surprise, and Peter then retold the events, the fear when the angels had arrived, the joy of their announcement, and the journey to come. She quickly caught on for she had been waiting for so long. . . she had wished for so long. . . she had hoped for so long. . . “You must go.” She nodded her eyes bright, and her mind whirling with plans, fear, joy and so much more. This. . . this was what they had waited for. A thousand promises coming to life.
The moon lit the dark well-worn paths, they were not far off from Bethlehem but rarely did they travel at night like this. This was Peter’s first time being out of their tiny village at night. The starlit skies guided them as they walked, a few of the best sheep were brought with them, but others had been left trusting Gof for His protection
Peter knew this path well, for he traveled it every time he went to the larger city of Bethlehem, the city of David.
The streets were dark with only a few others out on the streets. . . and then Peter saw it. . the stable. This was where the angel had guided them. This was where their Savior was. Here, tucked inside, sat a young woman, not more than a few years older than himself, with her eyes shining and she smiled gently at Peter, his father, and the rest of the shepherds. The man stood up and greeted them. “Peace to you and all of your family.” Peter’s father questioned. “We’ve come to see our Savior. This is He?” He didn’t seem to be doubting that this child, this baby, was the Savior, but the child. . . was so little. So lowly. With the nod from the man, Peter’s father fell to his knees and worshipped, and Peter found himself on the ground, along with the others praising God in awe of this honor that had been bestowed upon them.
This child, so small was going to save them. He was going to save the world. . . this was whom they had waited for. This was the Lord’s promise. 1,000 prayers answered. 1,000 prophecies come to life.
This was the Savior, Christ the Lord.
Mm, I very much enjoyed writing this story. <3 It’s far from perfect, but hopefully this imagined story helped fill you with wonder and awe once again for the real Christmas story about the most incredible act of love ever completed.
Thank you ever so much for reading, dear friends, and have a simply beautiful Christmas!
Eeek, first comment! 😀 I truly enjoyed this, Pearl. While I’m excited by the lit-up Christmas tree and presents sitting all around it, the true gift is what you highlighted in this story. It’s Him, Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Thank you for writing this as a good reminder to me during the holiday season <3
Haha, you did. XD Mm, that is truly the reason for this season. Having Christmas on a Sunday this year really embraced that reminder for me. <3 Thank you so much, dear!
This is such a sweet story, Pearl! Thank you for sharing <3
Thanks, Jessica! <3
Lorelei Angelino says
Aww, I love that so much! <3 And all those photos are so pretty, too!
Yay! Thank you so much, Lorelei!
A.J. Syngraféas says
This was one of my favorite Christmas stories. Thank you for posting it Pearl!
Thank you, Aliya! Your comments are always so kind. <3
A.J. Syngraféas says
Beautiful story, Pearl! Thanks so much for sharing! It was truly breathtaking!
I made you a little Christmas e-card, which you can view here: https://www.canva.com/design/DAFU8iAK7gA/Rp7LRZGh7Dexc-6i20zCqA/watch?utm_content=DAFU8iAK7gA&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link&utm_source=publishsharelink
I hope you enjoy it! Merry Christmas!
Ahhh, that totally just made my day, Erin. <3 That was so sweet of you to do. <3 I can't wait to get to know you more. 🙂
(By the way, is there an update on the book club / anything I need to do to participate? So excited!)
wow beautiful story Pearl! nice job. there are many Christmas short stories that other have posted, but this one may have to be one of my favorites! thanks for sharing!
You are so sweet, Mayim! Thank you so much, dear! <3
Autumn Rebecca says
This is such a beautiful story, Pearl! I loved reading it so much! Thank you for sharing. 💚
Eeep, I am so happy to hear that, Autumn! <3 I had a lot of fun writing it.
Rachel H2ofall says
I really felt transported to Bethlehem with the shepherds in your story! It was amazing, thank you for sharing, Pearl!
Aw, yay! Thank you so much, Rachel! ❤️
Aw, thank YOU for reading it, Rachel! <3
This story is so beautiful Pearl!!! *wipes tears from eyes* Thank you for writing this! You have a gift! <3
Aw, thank you so much, Moriyah; that means so much. <3