Look at all the stars! Joel thought to himself as he lay on the quiet Judean hillside. There must be a million of them, he guessed. They looked like tiny lights sparkling in the heavens.
The other shepherds were gathered around a small campfire, quietly talking as their sheep rested contentedly nearby.
Joel closed his eyes. The night was so peaceful. He slept for a few moments; then suddenly became wide awake and sat up instantly!
His heart was pounding so hard he thought it would burst from his body! Could he be dreaming? Just moments ago he had been looking at a sky full of twinkling stars. And now, the sky above was filled with light.
As he stared in fear, the light shifted and a shining form became clear. Surely this was an angel!
Even as that thought went through Joel's mind, a beautiful voice spoke out, "Fear not!"
Joel's fear left as quickly as it had come. In its place there was a feeling of wonder. God Himself was sending a message to man and he was hearing it!
"Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour. . ."
That city was Bethlehem! That's where I live, thought Joel. He didn't move as the angel went on to tell them that the baby would be found wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.
Suddenly, the whole sky was filled with angels praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." The sound was so beautiful!
As the shepherds listened, their hearts filled with joy. They were excited at the wonderful news they had heard.
Soon the angels were gone, and all was quiet once again. For many moments, Joel and the other shepherds sat in silence. They could hardly believe the things they had just seen and heard.
Then they said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and find the baby. The angel said we would know it was Him because He would be wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger."
"Hurry! Let's go!"
"Yes!" Joel said excitedly, "Let's go!"
They headed for Bethlehem and soon found the stable. Quietly they walked inside and knew right away they had found Baby Jesus. There was a man, with a young woman nearby, gazing down into a manger of hay. The shepherds saw the tiny baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, fast asleep.
As they knelt quietly beside the manger, the shepherds worshiped the newborn King. Their Savior had come at last.
Discuss with your child how the shepherds must have felt the night they heard the heavenly choir sing about Christ's birth. Make a paper chain of angels to help him learn this week's memory verse. Accordion pleat a long strip of paper, making eight sections approximately three inches wide. On the top section, draw a simple outline of an angel, making sure wing tips and sides of skirt touch both sides of the folded paper. Help your child cut out the shape, leaving the parts on the fold uncut. When unfolded, write the words of the memory verse on the skirts of the angels.
Help your child hang the strip of angels above a mirror or across the top of a doorway.