“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7)
It wasn’t long before we began to see the lights of a small town up on a hill. I had heard Mary and Joseph talking as we traveled and they said the name of the town was Bethlehem.
As we got closer, we saw that many other people were traveling there also.
We came into the town and the streets were crowded with people.
I tried to look at everyone’s face to see if anyone seemed familiar or was my family. But everyone was a stranger.
I even looked down the alleys to see if Marvin was digging in the trash.
There were donkeys and sheep and cows in the streets, and even some other dogs, but no one wanted to stop and talk to me. Everyone seemed in such a hurry to get someplace.
Joseph stopped at different houses along the street and asked if they had any room for him and Mary to spend the night. Each one said no but they suggested other places to go and try.
We walked up and down what seemed like every street but no one had any room for us to stay.
Finally, a man told Joseph of a place near the town wall that had rooms for rent called an “Inn” and for him to try there.
We found the Inn and Joseph went inside to talk to the man while I sat by the door with Mary.
The man said that the Inn was full and there were no rooms anywhere in town because of all the people that had come to pay their taxes.
Joseph said that he had to find someplace because his wife was about to have a baby.
“So that’s why Mary rode on the donkey and didn’t walk,” I thought. “She’s going to have a baby.”
The man stepped outside and looked at Mary.
“I have a stable in the back,” He said.
“If you don’t mind the animal smells you’re welcome to stay there. There’s some hay that you can use for a bed, and I’ll bring you both out a good hot meal. I wish I could do more.”
“Thank you,” said Joseph. “May the Lord bless you for your kindness.”
We went around to the stable where Joseph helped Mary off the donkey. He helped her inside and made her a bed of straw.
There were other animals in the stable and just outside there was even a mama pig and her piglets.
“Maybe now I can get some answers,” I thought.
“Excuse me ma’am,” I said to Mrs. Pig. “My name is Jake and I have lost my family. I wonder if perhaps you’ve seen them.”
“I do declare,” said Mrs. Pig. “I believe you’re the first dog that I’ve ever heard grunt our language. There have been a lot of people by here tonight. Maybe I have seen them.”
“What do they look like?”
“Well,” I said. “My daddy is big and round, my brother is very tall and quiet, and my mother has silver hair and a face like an angel.”
“No. I don’t believe that I have seen anyone like that,” said Mrs. Pig. “But the town is full of people tonight. They’re probably here somewhere.”
“I don’t believe so,” I said. “I think that I have walked down every street tonight and I didn’t see them anywhere.”
“Baaaa,” said a sheep that was listening from the stable door.
“There are other people here besides just those who are in the town. There are shepherds watching over the flocks of sheep out in the field. Perhaps your family is with them.”
The kind sheep told me how to get to the field where the shepherds were, and I decided to go and see if my family was there.
I checked in on Joseph and Mary before I left, but it looked like everything was alright and they had settled in for the night.
Maybe I could find my family in the field where the shepherds were.
I went in the direction that the sheep had said, and before long I could see the campfire of the shepherds in the field.
They had some dogs with them watching over the flocks and I thought I could ask them about my family.
I was just about to reach the dogs and their flocks, when suddenly there was a bright light in the sky brighter than the sun!
I was so afraid that all I could do was lie on the ground and cover my eyes.
As the shepherds and dogs and sheep all fell to the ground, a shining angel appeared in the sky. He said,
“Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, 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.”
All of a sudden the whole sky was filled with a choir of angels and they all began to sing.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
And then just as suddenly as they had appeared, the choir was gone, the angel was gone, and the light was gone too.
The sky was black with twinkling stars and it was so quiet that not even the sheep were making any noise.
I realized that I had just seen a miracle!
Something holy had just happened here. The angel had said that a Savior was born, Christ the Lord, and He was lying in a manger!
He must have meant Mary! She must have had her baby.
There was a manger in the stable that the animals ate out of. I forgot about finding my family and I started running back to town.
I had to get to Joseph and Mary. I had to help those kind strangers that had helped me.