And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
~ Luke 2:8-12 NIV
Daniel Bonnell skillfully places us right in the action of this painting. We are not mere observers of another’s experience. We are one of the shepherds standing in awe!
I invite you to enter into a visio divina. Put yourself into the story of this painting.
- What captures your attention in the painting?
- How do you feel, surrounded by the sight and sound of “a multitude of the heavenly host praising God…”?
- Shepherds were the marginalized people of Jesus time, lowest on the societal totem pole. What do you feel of the heart of God as you are audience to this heavenly choir? Can you imagine God’s delight in making this proclamation to a handful of shepherds? To you?
- Do you remember the last time you were “awe-struck” by life? Can you recall how you felt?