Who would have thought the Messiah we expected for so long, would be for the Gentiles, too? Yet, it is so! I am an old woman who has seen much. I’ve lived a long life and witnessed many things. Now my time is short, and I want to tell my story while I can.
I listened to the Apostle Peter’s preaching on the Day of Pentecost, and the Holy Spirit came down. As a result, thousands of people gave their hearts to Jesus. I was one of them and my husband, also. The power of God manifested in such a way that we understood foreigners who spoke in different languages conversed with those of us who were locally situated.
I also heard the Apostle Paul spread God’s word to everyone who would listen. He, as well as Peter, and many other fine leaders of the church, continued to preach the message of Christ crucified and resurrected. They witnessed even among persecution.
Now both Apostles have died. They lost their lives because of their steadfast love for God and His Son, Jesus. Why, it is even said that Peter was upside down on the cross when he was put to death.
Enough of that! This old lady is putting the proverbial cart before the donkey.
I grew up in the town of Bethlehem, the daughter of a shepherd. My father was one of those who guarded the sheep reserved for Temple sacrifice. These sheep were kept in the fields surrounding Bethlehem all during the year, even the winter months. I carried meals or refreshments to Father from time to time while he was watching the sheep, and he usually let me stay for a while to play with the lambs. My dream was for my parents to let me stay overnight with Father just one time in the shepherds’ fields. Mother said I was too little, and besides I might get in the way.
I was about nine years old when my parents finally consented for me to stay overnight. “After all,” Father pointed out, “our house can be seen from the hillside.”
“This one time,” Mother said, “and then she will need to learn how to be a young lady and to quit romping on the hillsides like the boys do.”
The long-anticipated night finally arrived, and I settled down near the campfire. Too excited to sleep, I snuggled beneath my warm blanket, my favorite lamb nestled at my feet. Lying on my back I gazed at the heavens and wondered about the great God who lives there.
“Does He really know me like Mother says?” I wondered aloud.
As I gazed at the stars, I noticed one which seemed brighter than the others. I looked away and back again, but it still looked brighter. I pointed it out to Father. Unexpectedly, right in front of our eyes, it grew even brighter. It actually seemed to have descended, and it looked like it was shining directly over Bethlehem. It wasn’t long before this star caught the attention of all the shepherds.
Suddenly an angel approached our campfire. Yes – an angel! We were terrified, and several shepherds sank to the ground and covered their heads. I tried to hide behind Father and leaned around him, peering through my fingers.
“Fear not,” the angel said.
When the angel spoke, we were not afraid anymore, and a great peace fell on us. I kept rubbing my eyes, wondering if I was imagining—or dreaming—but this was no dream. The angel was real. He told us the heavenly host was bringing us good news of great joy for all people.
The angel told my father and the other shepherds the good news that the Messiah was being born on this day in our town, and that we would find Him wrapped in rags, lying in a manger. I was astonished. Could this be the Messiah our people had waited for? But why was He born in a stable, and, of all places, in a feeding trough?
“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”~Luke 2:10b-11 NKJV
Suddenly more angels appeared, and they were praising God and singing. Father and the other shepherds joined in their worship. There were so many angels I could not count them.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”~Luke 2:13-14 NKJV
One of the angels knelt beside me and asked why I was so quiet in the middle of the joyful celebration. I said, “Is the Messiah really for all people like you say, even the Gentiles?”
“Yes, child,” the angel replied, “for everyone who will believe in Him and become His, the Lord will make clean and forgive their sins and provide a safe place for them, even throughout eternity.”
The angels left as suddenly as they had arrived, and all the shepherds spoke in loud voices about the wondrous things we had seen and heard.
“Let us go into town and see this thing that has come to pass,” they said.
The shepherds agreed that half of them would go right then, and the other half would go later to see the baby. Father was one of the first ones to go. He carried me on his shoulders so I wouldn’t get trampled in the rush to get there.
How can I describe what I felt when I saw that tiny Baby? Even if I hadn’t known I was looking at the Son of the Most High God, I would have known there was something very, very special about Him.
As I was saying, I have lived a long time and seen much. Jews and Gentiles, alike, are responding to the good news and becoming followers of that same Jesus I saw in the Bethlehem stable so many years ago. And it is true! What the angel told me is true! God did become human in order to draw ALL people to Himself, not just one or two select groups or races, but all who will accept him. All who accept and serve Jesus will live forever with him throughout eternity.
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”~Romans 10:12 NKJV
Those same baby hands which were so sweetly dimpled on the night of His birth were the same hands which were nailed to the cross on the hill of Golgotha. Yes, I was there. I saw Him die on that cross to forgive me and you for our sins, but He did not stay dead. He is alive. He’s Alive! And because He lives, we too can live.
If you have not yet asked Jesus to be your Savior, please invite Him into your heart today.
Lord Jesus, thank You for leaving Your heavenly home and coming to Earth as the infant Babe in the manger, so that I could believe on You. Thank You for dying on the cross, and rising from the dead, to forgive my sins. I invite You into my heart this day. I make You my Lord, my Savior, and my soon-coming King.
Genre: Creative Non-fiction
Copyright 2020: A Christmas Story: Author Evelyn Mason Wells: All Rights Reserved
Published: December 2016: Refresh Bible Study Magazine: Editor Katie Kauffman: Editor-in-Chief Beebe Kauffman
Meet Our Contributor
EVELYN MASON WELLS
Evelyn Mason Wells is an award-winning author who has contributed to Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character (2019 Selah finalist, Lighthouse Bible Studies), Glimmers of Heavenly Light (Faith Books & More), Let the Earth Rejoice (Worthy Inspired), Breaking the Chains (2018 Selah finalist, Lighthouse Bible Studies), Just Breathe (Worthy/Ellie Claire), and Feed Your Soul with the Word of God (Lighthouse Bible Studies). She writes for Refresh Bible Study magazine.
She is a Bible Study Writer, and Devotion Writer for VineWords: Devotions and More, and a contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships (VineWords Publishing).
Passionate about glorifying God through her writing and speaking, Evelyn enjoys spending time on short-term mission trips, both domestic and foreign. She was recently blessed with an opportunity to speak/minister in Uganda.
Evelyn loves attending Bible Studies, spiritual retreats, and having good conversation with friends over lunch or a glass of tea. She is also an avid fan of the Georgia Bulldogs and Atlanta Braves. Evelyn enjoys good books, her cats, traveling, and especially spending time with her family.
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