A Christmas Story for Children

By Lorraine Rose, Siberia, Russia

Hi! My name is David. I lived long ago in a dry and dusty country. A little clay brick house was my home, where I lived with my mother and father and older brother. Mother and Father were weavers, and my older brother helped them in the trade.

Hard times had hit our little family when one evening at the dinner table Father said to me, “Son, you know how things are difficult for us now. Our neighbor has agreed to give us a portion of his wool, come year’s end, if you help him guard his sheep at night.” I was a boy of seven, ready to help in bringing my family through those difficult times. That was how I came to be a shepherd lad.

I would sit upon the hillside many a night, bundled up in layers of rough woven clothes, feeling the breeze on my cheeks and hovering close to the little campfire an older shepherd had made. Most nights passed uneventfully, and we would eventually fall asleep peacefully around the fire, with the sheep in the nearby field. Other nights we had to chase off wolves and jackals who would creep close to the fold. But we never lost a single sheep. God took good care of us and our flock.

I was the youngest in our group of shepherds, and the evenings when we would sit around the fire, merrily singing old songs, were times of great joy for me. One old shepherd – Zachary was his name – would at times talk longingly about the promised Messiah. I remember sitting and listening earnestly. In his shaky voice he told of One who would come to bring us life, love, and freedom. One who would be like our Shepherd, caring for us and bringing all the stray sheep back into His fold.

“He will come to preach the Gospel to the poor,” Zachary said, “to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and the recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. Oh, I long to live to see such a day!”

The old man’s voice trailed off. With his words still ringing in my ears, I prayed to our God that I, too, could see the day when our Savior of love would come to Earth.

Months had passed since I had first become a little shepherd boy, when one exceptionally cold night, after the coals in our campfire were stirred and the sheep had gone to sleep, we huddled together and dozed off to sleep ourselves. I remember thinking, What a beautiful starry night! The stars are so big and bright, I feel I could reach out and touch them!

I began to dream of light, love and warmth. All of sudden I was startled awake! I opened my eyes and gazed into a dazzling light that didn’t hurt my eyes. A wonderful heavenly being stood in the sky above us, his long golden-blond hair waving in the wind. At first we were afraid, but any trace of fear vanished when the beautiful angel spoke. He said: “Fear not! I bring you tidings of great joy! For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord! You shall find him wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger!”

Before I could even fathom what I had heard, the sky all around us lit up in the most spectacular display of light! I saw thousands-I couldn’t count them, but there seemed to be thousands-of magnificent angels singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men!”

The music and singing that filled the air around us blended in the most outstanding harmony. We were speechless! Our eyes were wide with wonder! Our hearts were filled with joy! Our spirits felt as if they would float up into the sky!

When the beautiful harmonious sound of the angels’ voices had drifted off into the night, Zachary fell to his knees and exclaimed: “Praise the Lord! He has shown His great love to us! Let us go down to Bethlehem and find the Child who is our Savior and King of Love!”

When I see Him, what can I offer him? I have nothing. I’m so young and so small and so poor, I thought, as we hurried to the town. My thoughts were interrupted when we arrived at the door of an old stable. We knocked and the door was opened by a kindly man. Love and warmth poured forth from that old stinking stable with awesome radiance. We knew we had found Jesus!

I walked up to the manger in which He lay, and His beautiful newborn face shone with love and peace. I knelt and kissed His tiny forehead. Tears filled my eyes. His mother, lying next to the manger, put her arm around me and stroked my straggly hair. That moment changed my life forever!

We were too filled with the wonder of the experience to think deeply about it till afterwards. When I once again found myself sitting upon the hillside, gazing into the starry night that surrounded us and our sheep, I wondered why, on the most wonderful and divine night in all the world, would the angels come and proclaim the good news to us-a bunch of ragged shepherds?

Then I understood that God loves us all, no matter how small we are. His love is extended without limit and without partiality to every child in the world. Even me-a poor little shepherd boy. And yes, I knew what gift I could give Jesus! I had nothing earthly to offer, but I had a heart full of the love that He had given me. I could give it back to Him and live to show His love and light to others.

A Prayer at Christmas

There is no room for Christmas
if not within my heart.
There is no time for giving,
if I don’t make a start.
Oh Jesus, how I need Your love!
Please let my giving be
A mirror of Your very own,
of love’s reality.

- Lee Anderson

The Night the Angels Sang!, Copyright © 1998-2012, The Family International