What did the shepherds see?

see Soulwork Toward Sunday: self-guided retreat
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

“O that thou wouldst rend the heavens and come down” Isaiah 64:1

What did the shepherds see?

Shooting stars, maybe more stars than usual. No, not stars. Lights, lights pouring out of heaven. But the moon lies beyond the tear in the heavens! Whole pieces of sky breaking into daylight. No, not daylight. Light uncreated, unlike light splayed into color by the prism of creation. Living Beings of Light pouring from an unseen world just behind the created one.

What did the shepherds hear?

Sounds, unearthly sounds, not like a boy playing a flute. No, not one sound. A soundscape pouring out of heaven. But surrounding them, shimmering! Liquid sounds shimmering, settling, no, dancing upon earth. Not merely sounds, but music. Music sounding like insight or second sight. Music like intuition, deeply resonant, music of the spheres, pouring out from behind the tear in the sky.

Detail, Adoration of the Shepherds, Guilio Romano, c.1535

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