Stirring In The Stable Part 3


After making this exclamation, Othniel took off again in a flurry of feathers, circling around the roof and landing again.

Chava in an agitated voice boomed , “Could you please stop with the aerial acrobatics and tell us about this baby?”

“Oh yes, of course, “ replied Othniel. “I am just beside myself in wonder and amazement. As soon as I looked upon the child, I knew, yet I don’t know how except that it must be by divine revelation. It sounds outlandish, but that baby that is lying there is the God that created me! Somehow, when I looked at his face I just knew it. God has come to earth in a human form, although I’m not sure why.”

As soon as Othniel made his startling proclamation, a bright star suddenly appeared that lit up the sky, and light began filtering into the barn. If that wasn’t strange enough the doors to every animal stall began to open as though guided by invisible hands.

“Chava,” exclaimed Adonijah excitedly, “You are not going to believe this but the door to my stall just opened of its own accord!

“Adonijah, I’m a believer!” bellowed Chava. “The same thing has happened here. What Othniel has said must be true. What are we waiting for? Let’s go see the God baby!”

Adonijah and Chava then rushed out of their stalls, followed by the rest of the barn animals who also had been liberated from their nooks.  They quickly rounded the corner and came to the place where Mary and Yosef dwelt and the young child, who had been placed in Tikvah’s feeding trough.  Mary and Yosef did not notice their presence at first, because they were lost in the glory of beholding this new little life with which they had been blessed.  Mary looked up toward the barn roof and spoke to her husband.

“Yosef,  does it seem to have become lighter in this barn?” Yosef was about to answer when Mary clutched her heart, pointed and said, “Yosef, look!”

There stood a group of animals about ten feet away from them. There were cows, donkeys, several sheep and baby lambs and even an owl, which was gracefully perched on a beam.

“Fear not, Mary,” replied Yosef tenderly, “Somehow these animals know that something special has happened here and that this is not an ordinary baby. I’ve always felt that animals can sometimes sense things that humans are slow to pick up. The animals will do us no harm.”

“But love,” answered Mary, “How did they all get out of their stalls? There is nobody else in this barn besides you and me.”

“The same One who has caused this heavenly light to shine into the barn, must have chosen to also loose these animals from their dwelling places,” answered Yosef.

While this discourse took place between husband and wife, there was also communication going on between the animals.

Chava, always the outspoken one, questioned Othniel. “Oh wise owl, I don’t understand why the God of the universe would choose to be born here, in our humble stable. Wouldn’t a palace be more fitting as a birthplace, and why aren’t there kings and queens and dignitaries to come and pay homage to their Maker?”

After a thoughtful pause, Othniel  replied, “These are deep and noble questions, dear Chava. I’m afraid I can only offer my limited opinion. God is sovereign and will do as He pleases and knows is best. Perhaps the mode of coming as a baby would not seem threatening to others. Everybody seems to love babies. You know how we animals dote over our young ones. It could be there are no dignitaries or important people here because they are too wrapped up in their own meager kingdoms  to notice God coming to earth in such an unpredictable way. But we are here, and we know the identity of this Babe lying in a manger.  For that reason, we should not hold our peace, but we should glorify this great God who has come to visit our lowly stable.”

Having spoken these words, Othniel lifted his wings in flight, and as he began to soar through the barn, the spirit of prophesy came upon him as he roared,

“Cry out and shout, thou  inhabitants of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee!”

Upon hearing this proclamation, the animals began to worship in the only way that they knew how. The cows bellowed and mooed, donkeys brayed, sheep bleated and the wise old owl hooted until he was hoarse.

As Yosef, listened to the orchestra of animals, he broke out in a wide grin as he turned to Mary and said, “Beloved, these animals recognize who the Babe is, God manifested in the flesh. They cannot help but praise Him. Oh, this is a holy night, but it definitely will not be a silent one!”

The End


Stirring In The Stable-Part Two


Chava raised her head toward the sky and bellowed, “Who is up there on the roof? Please identify your self immediately.”

“Othniel Owl”, spoke the bird in a most dignified manner, “here at your service. I have followed this couple for the past five hours. There is something about them that intrigues me. Do you know that feeling we animals get before an earthquake happens?”

“Certainly!” answered Chava with Adonijah snorting in agreement.

“It’s a premonition that God gives us to let us know of approaching disaster. Well, I had that same feeling when I saw this couple, only it’s not a foreboding feeling but a sense that something wonderful and miraculous is going to happen. I don’t understand it all together, but I am waiting and watching to see what will come to pass.”

Chava laughed a somewhat scornful laugh. “Is Othniel Owl among the prophets? What miraculous event could possibly take place in this old, dilapidated barn?”

Othniel, unruffled by her incredulity calmly answered, “I don’t know, but we shall wait and see what comes to pass.”

This is exactly what they did for the next hour. The woman continued her cycle of moaning, rolling on the hay that was underneath her, mumbling prayers and asking for Yosef(the name that the animals heard her use)to put the crude, wet cloth on her forehead. Yosef continued to speak words of comfort and reassurance to his “beloved Mary” (as he called her).
Chava mooed and yawned. She was getting a little bored with the sameness that had been going on for about an hour.

“When is she going to give birth? When is this so called wonderful miracle, whatever it is going to be, supposed to happen? I’m getting tired of just standing here, listening to you, Othniel, give play by play over and over again of the same thing.”

Othniel, being a bird of great wisdom and infinite patience answered, “It won’t be long now. The baby will be born soon.”

Approximately five minutes later, Adonijah, Chava and Othniel heard exclamations of praise and laughter coming from Mary and Yosef and then the unmistakable cry of a newborn baby.

Suddenly Othniel began to flap his wings excitedly and hover over the barn roof. He landed, took off again, then landed in obvious excitement.  With a voice quavering with giddy enthusiasm , he exclaimed, “I understand now! I know HOO this baby is!”

end of part 2
– to be continued


Stirring In The Stable Part 1


Adonijah was asleep in his usual standing position, but he was having a dream. It was a strange dream involving mostly sounds. He was in the barn, but he was hearing odd noises. A woman was moaning intermittently and asking God to help her. The pain she was experiencing must have been great, for he could hear labored breathing as well.  The voice of a man was heard also occasionally, speaking softly and calmly in words of comfort and reassurance.

He was awakened from his dream by the voice of Chava in the next stall. “Adonijah, wake up! Something most extraordinary is going on here.”

The donkey shook himself and turned toward the stall where his neighbor dwelt. “Huh, what? You just woke me up from a bizarre dream I was having about some humans.”

“Adonijah,” answered the cow, “There are humans in the barn right now! It’s a man and a woman. I saw the innkeeper bring them in a couple of hours ago. It’s a husband and wife, and the husband said something about his wife would be having a baby very soon. The innkeeper was apologizing to them, telling them there were no rooms left but they could spend the night in Tikvah’s(may she rest in peace) stall.”

Tikvah was an old sheep that had died a week ago.

Adonijah snorted. “Well, that explains the dream I was having. I heard a woman moaning and groaning and a man speaking words of comfort to her. It makes sense now, but what an awful place to have a child. Has Tikvah’s stall even been cleaned since she uh……?”

“How should I know!” answered Chava. (At this point, Adonijah was wondering how she could NOT know for the chatty cow was a terrible gossip that made it her business to try and know everybody’s business.) “Anyhow, it sounds like this young lady is having a rough time of it. Oh, I wish I wasn’t in this stall. I would so love to see and not just hear what is happening with these 2 humans.”

Just then Adonijah and Chava heard a fluttering of wings overhead as something landed on top of the barn’s weathered roof.  A voice spoke out of the darkness, saying, “I know someone who can tell you everything that is going on here.”

to be continued……..