What was it like to be an angel on that first Christmas? Our story continues....
Heaven seemed different without the Lamb.
As though the very light of heaven had dimmed somehow. It hadn't, of course. God is our Light and His presence is always near.
But still, an emptiness that could not be filled persisted.
We angles went about our work as usual. We sang praises to God. We took care of heaven's business. With God's permission, Gabriel shared with us about his mission to earth to prepare the way for the Lamb. Angles didn't often appear to humans, even though many of us are serving and working throughout the earth at all times. He told how he spoke with the young woman--Mary--whom God chose to carry the Baby in her womb. I was pleased to hear that Mary understood what an honor was being given to her. I was also pleased to hear that the man who would be her husband was righteous and humble. It would take a man like that to be father to the Lamb!
One day God summoned us all before the throne again. It troubled me to see the Lamb's empty throne. I hoped God would tell us the Lamb was coming home.
When all were present, God smiled. "Today is a blessed day for the people of earth," He said. "Today Salvation will come to the world. The Lamb will be born unto a virgin."
Angles around me cheered. I knew I should be happy for the people of earth, but my shoulders slumped. It seemed as though half of eternity had passed since the Lamb departed heaven, but He hadn't even been born as a human baby yet. He wouldn't be coming home anytime soon.
"I am sending Gabriel to announce the birth to my people. Some of you will join him in the celebration."
An angel stood beside God with a scroll. He began to read off names. I held my breath, waiting. Name after name. Angel after angel came forward until a very large group circled Gabriel. Finally, just when I began to give up hope, my name was called!
We left heaven and traveled through the stars and planets. God's handiwork truly was beautiful. Gabriel led us to earth, across water and land, until we finally came to a wide-open grassy area. It was dark, but I could see several men relaxing around a fire. A herd of sheep stood nearby.
I looked around, waiting to see the crowds of humans who would receive Gabriel's message about the Lamb's birth. Surely all the kings of the land and the important leaders should be here, ready to pay homage to the King.
But Gabriel didn't wait for anyone else to arrive. He showed himself to the men in the field, who seemed terrified when they beheld Gabriel.
"Do not be afraid," Gabriel said to them. "I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find the baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Gabriel turned to us and suddenly the men in the field saw us too.
"Glory to God in the highest heaven!" we said, lifting our voices as one. "And on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."
The men stood wide-eyed. When they couldn't see us anymore, they talked among themselves excitedly.
"Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about!" And they set off, leaving their sheep unattended.
We started our journey back to heaven.
I felt...disappointed. Why had we delivered the most wondrous news to a tiny group of lowly shepherds? Why hadn't the kings of earth been there to hear the message? Why hadn't we been allowed to announce the Lamb's birth to the entire world?
Before I could stop myself, I came up alongside Gabriel.
"I don't understand," I said. "Why are we leaving? All the men of earth should be told about the Lamb. They should all be summoned to his earthly palace to worship him."
Gabriel studied me for a long moment before he spoke. "Come," he said, taking me by the hand. We separated ourselves from the group of angels returning to heaven and went in the opposite direction, back to earth.
"Where are we going?" I asked.
"To see the Lamb. Then you will understand."
I couldn't help but smile. I was going to the palace to see the Lamb.
Click here to read An Angel's Story Part 3, the Conclusion.
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