Friday, December 07, 2012
AND THEY WERE SORE AFRAID
The traditional Christmas scripture is found in Luke. The second chapter is the one most folks recognize, recite, put on plaques, Christmas cards, and so on.
You know how when you were a kid and you sang America the Beautiful every morning in school, standing facing the flag with your right hand over your heart and you thought "of the I sing" was "of the icing"? Ok so here's Luke, chapter two verse nine:
"And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid."
Throughout my childhood I wondered why the angel of the Lord was sore. What made him sore? Can angels be sore? How could that even be? And do they have first aid kits or aspirin*, Ben Gay* or physical therapy in Heaven to help an angel get over soreness? Masseurs? Chiropractors? Is there an angel infirmary?
These were the thoughts bouncing around in my noggin' every Christmas throughout my childhood. Funny what a child's takeaway can be. My Mom or my Sunday School teacher or the Preacher would be reading me this scripture from their King James Version Bible, and they felt the point they were making was that our Savior had been born and was lying, swaddled, in a manger. The Host of heaven was busy praising God (verse 13), so who was handling infirmary or PT appointments for sore angels?
It wasn't until I was older and no I am not going to reveal just how much older because I would be sorely embarrassed that I realized the true meaning of the scripture, and thennnn, in the aha moment, I realized it wasn't the angel that was sore at all!!! It was the shepherds in the fields. Now I knew those guys had to be in trouble if they were sore, because we all know there's no physical therapy or aspirin in the sheep fields. Duh.
It wasn't until I was older and no I am not going to reveal just how much older because I would be sorely embarrassed that I realized the true meaning of the scripture, that it really didn't matter at all who was sore, that the point was the Savior had been born that day. Duh.
It wasn't until I was older and no I am not going to reveal just how much older because I would be sorely embarrassed - that - tah dah, nobody was sore during the entire event. Well thank goodness. Cauz if you were so lucky as to have angels appear to you in a beautiful field in the evening with green grass and trees all around you and beautiful dark blue sky and brilliant stars above you, and talk to you personally about good tidings, great joy, and our Savior being born, it'd be a real bummer if you weren't feeling your best.
*I attended elementary school from 1963 through 1968. Aspirin was it for OTC pain relief, and Ben Gay was it for the topical muscle rub stinky stuff. No Motrin, no Aleve. No Bio-Freeze or Icy Hot. We used hot water bottles and heating blankets. The times they were so simple then....... *sigh*