The Nativity - Part Three
"What do we do now?" Elijah asked.
"Well, anyone with a heart would gladly give a girl that's in labor pains a place to lie down to have her baby. We go to the inns, an see if Joseph and Mary have checked in," Sean said.
"And how do we find out where the inns are?" asked Dom.
"We ask," said Billy. He grabbed the arm of a man near him. "Excuse me sir, but do you know where the inns are?"
Luckily Billy grabbed a native. He gave them the directions to Bethlehem's three inns. "But far as I know, all of them are full. Do your friends know anyone or have relatives living here?"
"They said nothing about it to us."
"Well, I don't know what else to say, except good luck." And he left.
"Well let's just not stand here. Let's go look for them!" Dom exclaimed. They followed the directions and soon found the first inn. Sean lead the mule near a watering tough and left it. He knocked on the door.
It half opened. A middle-aged woman looked at them cautiously.
"No room," she said.
"We're not looking for a room."
She opened the door a little wider. "Not looking for a room? Then what are you doing here?"
"We were looking for some friends of ours: a pregnant girl and her husband. The girl was riding on a donkey."
"Yes a couple like that recently came here. The girl was in terrible pain."
"Her contractions are coming faster," Sean murmered. The woman looked at him in surprise of his knowledge of medical terms.
"Yes. But I had to send them away, because there is nowhere I could put her, and she can't give birth on the street."
"Yes. Well thank you."
"I'm sorry I couldn't help." She closed the door.
Sean went over to get the mule only to discover that is was missing. "How do you like that? Someone stole our mule!"
"Sean, that's not what matter's now. What matters is that we find Mary and Joseph," Elijah said.
"I know, but someone stole our mule!"
They went to the other side of town to the next inn. Elijah knocked. A man, who was obviously tired, opened the door. He looked at Elijah.
"Boy, if you say, 'We need a room,' I swear by Jehovah I will wring your neck. I have had no room since this afternoon. And everyone coming to me saying, 'We need a room,' is wearing on my nerves. It's all this Roman tax. LORD, when will the Messiah come? He will deliver us. The prophets said so. Isaiah, Daniel, the others. They said he will come and deliver his people. LORD, I know Your Word is true, but when? It's been so long, so long since a prophecy was made. Your people are losing hope!"
They watched this emotional prayer in silence. "We're not looking for a room."
The man looked at them questioningly. "No room. I don't understand this. I don't know your faces, so you must be travelers. What do you want, if not a room?"
Elijah explained who they were looking for. "Yes, they came here. But as there was no room, I sent them to Levi's inn. Rachel sent them here, and then I sent them to Levi. Those poor children. Pray to the LORD Levi had some room left." He closed the door.
They started walking to the third inn. Billy stopped.
"Sean, I'm sorry, but I can't go further. I need to sit down or something. You must know how I feel. We've been walking almost all day!"
"I know Billy. I feel the same. It's too crowded to sit down. Maybe we could rest outside the town and continue our search later. Come on. This way." They followed Sean as he went through alleys until they were in the countryside. Dom nearly collasped.
"Not yet. A little further," Sean said.
"Sean, where are we going?" Dom asked.
"I really don't know."
They continued to walk. Suddenly a boy no older than Elijah stood in front of them. He held his staff in a way of defense. Two other boys joined them. Sean raised his hands and stepped back. The other three did the same.
"Who are you and what are you doing here?" the front boy asked.
"My name is Sean, this is Elijah, this is Dominic, and this is William. We were traveling with some friends when we got separated. After we got too tired to look for them, we went into the hills. Then we meet you. Who are you?"
"My name is Isaiah and these are my brothers Benjamin and Ezekiel. We are shepards."
"I am pleased to meet you, Isaiah. May we sit with you?"
Isaiah lowered his staff and his brothers did so too. "I would not normally do this, but it is a quiet night. Yes you can sit with us." He seemed more friendly now that he trusted them.
"Do you know anything about sheep?" Ezekiel asked.
"Well there are several where I grew up, but I'm not sure I know anything," Billy said.
"Well, this part is simpler than others. You watch the sheep graze and keep a sharp eye out for wolves. The hardest part is trying to stay awake." They laughed.
"Sometimes to keep ourselves awake, we'll recite the psalms. Benjamin is especially good at remembering them. What is the psalm today?"
Benjamin thought for a minute. "I'm thinking about Psalm 22."
"Sing it. I haven't heard that one in a while," Isaiah said.
"I would like to hear that one too," said Elijah.
"So would I," said Dom.
"I think we all would," said Billy.
Benjamin cleared his throat and began the 22nd Psalm
My God, my God, why have Yet you are enthroned as the But I am a worm and not a Yet you brought me out of Many bulls surround me; My strength is dried up like a But you, O LORD, be not far I will declare your name to From you comes the theme All of the rich of the earth will
you forsaken me?
Why are you so far
from saving me,
so far from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry out by day,
but you do not answer,
by night, and am silent.
you are the praise of Israel.
In you our fathers put their
they trusted and you
They cried to you and were
in you they trusted and
were not disapointed.
scorned by men and
despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking
"He trusts in the LORD;
let the LORD resue him,
since he delights in him."
you made me trust in you
even at my mother's breast.
From birth I was cast upon
from my mother's womb
you have been my God.
Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.
strong bulls of Bashan
Roaring lions tearing their
open their mouths wide
I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted away within
and my tongue sticks to the
roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of
Dogs have surrounded me;
a band of evil men has
they have pierced my
hands and feet.
I can count all my bones;
people stare and gloat over
They divide my garments
and cast lots for my
O my Strength, come
quickly to help me.
Deliver my life from the
my precious life from the
power of the dogs.
Rescue me from the mouth of
save me from the horns of
the wild oxen.
in the congregation I will
You who fear the LORD,
All you desendants of
Jacob, honor him!
Revere him, all you
desendants of Israel!
For he has not despised or
the suffering of the afflicted
he has not hidden his face
but has listened to his cry
of my praise in the
before those who fear you
will I fulfill my vows.
The poor will eat and be
they who seek the LORD
will praise him-
may your hearts live
All the ends of the earth
will remember and turn to
and all the families of the
will bow down before him,
for dominion belongs to the
and he rules over the
feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust
will kneel before him-
those who cannot keep
Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be
told about the LORD.
They will proclaim his
to a people yet unborn-
for he has done it.
Yet you are enthroned as the
But I am a worm and not a
Yet you brought me out of
Many bulls surround me;
My strength is dried up like a
But you, O LORD, be not far
I will declare your name to
From you comes the theme
All of the rich of the earth will
The others were silent as Benjamin took a slip of water from his goatskin.
"A powerful psalm," Isaiah said quietly.
"Yes," Sean said.
"The 45th Psalm is our sister's favorite," Ezekiel said.
"I like the 23rd," Dom said.
"We often tell that one to a sheep if it's frightened," said Benjamin.
Elijah stood up and stretched. Suddenly there was a bright flash of light. They all fell on their faces. The sheep ran in terror.
"Please," Billy prayed. "I don't what to die."
"Mercy," whispered Sean. He could hear the shepards' terrified cries.
"Fear not," said a new voice. They looked up to see an angel, for it could be nothing else. The angel was clothed in a pure white robe, whiter than newly fallen snow. The light around him hadn't faded, but their eyes could bear it more than when they first saw him.
"Fear not," he said again. "For I bring you good tidings of great joy that shall be to all people. For unto you, born this day, in the city of David; a savior who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger."
Suddenly there were hundreds upon millions of angels praising God. The light was so bright, the sky looks as if it were day. They sang in one gigantic voice repeating their glorious chorus over and over again.
Glory to God in the highest, Praise God from all blessings flow; King of Kings! The Kingdom of the world Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to men
on whom his favor rests
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
O Praise Him! Alleluia!
Praise Him above ye heav'nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost;
Oh Praise Him! O Praise Him! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Forever and Ever!
Lord of Lords!
has become the kingdom
of our Lord and of his
and he will reign for ever
and on earth peace to men
on whom his favor rests!
Praise God from all blessings flow;
King of Kings!
The Kingdom of the world
Glory to God in the highest
And they were gone as suddenly as they had appeared.
The four actors sat there in deep thought.
"Come on," said Isaiah. "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing which has happened, which the Lord told us about!"
They were soon running to the nearest stable. Dom never felt so much joy in his heart. He started to sing and soon the others joined with him.
Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o'er the plains.
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.
In excelsis Deo.
In excelsis Deo.
*Author's note* The songs of the angels are the text found in Scripture, part of St. Francis of Assisi's All Creatures of Our God and King, and the Halleluiah chorus
The passages from Scripture are from the NIV translation. The angel's announcement is from KJV, I believe.
*Disclaimer* As you all know, I do not entend to profit from this story. All the characters, including the author and the reader, were created by the greatest author in the world, God. As I said before, Tolkien is #2.
I hope this is on the website in time.