An Advent Reflection

And lo (or, as translated in the Living Bible, "yo!"), an angel of the Lord appeared before the shepherds tending their flocks by night and, despite enormous temptation, did not say "BOO!" What the angel actually said was, "Behold, unto you a child is born, unto you a son is given." But the shepherds were either sore or afraid, for lo, they realized that this was both good news and bad news. The good news was that God had finally decided to speak to them. The bad news was they didn’t understand a word of it.

FIRST SHEPHERD: Do you know what that angel just said?

SECOND SHEPHERD: No. But it sounded like 17th-century English.

FIRST SHEPHERD: But that can’t be, since the English are still just a bunch of un-evolved Druids who pray to anything they can’t eat. Also, they smell bad. Ugh, talk about clearing out a tent.

SECOND SHEPHERD: Hmmm...I wonder if my in-laws are Druids.

FIRST SHEPHERD: He’s still standing over there.

SECOND SHEPHERD: Who?

FIRST SHEPHERD: That angel guy. And he keeps saying "lo."

SECOND SHEPHERD: Let’s ignore him and maybe he’ll go away.

FIRST SHEPHERD: Anyway, as I was saying before the angel showed up, I’m sick of tending our flocks by night. Any idea how to get back on the day shift?

OH WHAT’S the use? I can’t write inspirational Christmas stuff now, even though you depend on me for that sort of thing. But it’s 90 degrees outside and it’s August, just like it always is for the December deadline. We’re in Heat Hell but have to write about the hope of Advent. I don't think so.

And it’s even harder this time since I just got back from our annual drive-till-we-drop vacation to the West (motto: You’re not there yet). And folks out West weren’t talking about Christmas. They were talking about more immediate concerns, such as how to spell "Albuquerque" and wondering what George W. Bush hasn’t done in the last 23 years.

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Sojourners Magazine November-December 1999
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