Keeping watch

A litany for worship: The angels' appearance to the shepherds, inspired by Luke 2

In that region there were shepherds, keeping watch over their flock by night.

Keeping watch. In darkest night. Far from hearth and home, stumbling on slumbering hill.

Then an angel stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around, and they were terrified.

As are we, in the face of torturing headlines and threatening news. As are we, when our own lives detour into tangled terrain.

But the angel said, “Do not be afraid, for I am bringing good news of great joy for all people.

Oh Messenger of Mercy, draw near to our secret fear with joyful, triumphant  news of release from our grief.

Upon a watchtower I stand, O God, continually by day and throughout the night.

Then comes the news: the Empire is imploding, and its gods lie in tatters.

Bring water to the thirsty, meet the fugitive with bread.

In the days to come, the bent bow will relax, and the drawn sword will find its rest. Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation!

Inspired by Luke 2:8-15 and Lamentations 21:8-9, 14-15
©Kenneth L. Sehested @
Reprint from “In the Land of the Living: Prayers personal and public