So he just sat and tried to listen.
A little while after, he heard the cries of a baby! He was delighted. He got up and looked, they were all there, the mother was alive, the father excited, the child. The strange thing is he never heard the mother moaning or anything. Strange.
He wanted to get up and go congratulate the parents; he got lamp in hand and began heading out. As he approached the door, he heard quick, excited footsteps outside his door. He opened the door to proceed to the stable and bumped into some shepherds!
“Sir, Sir, are you going to see the Saviour too?” One of the shepherds asked!
“Saviour? What do you mean? There’s a child in the stable, wrapped in swaddling clothes….” And before he finished one of the shepherds interrupted,
“Friend! That is the Saviour!…” And they went on to explain to him how angels appeared to them and told them how they’d find the child.
What new wine are these poor shepherds drinking? Angels? Saviour? Do they know how ordinary the people they are talking about are?
Their foolish talk made him think twice about going to see the child now. He directed them to the stable dismissing their talk yet the shepherds went on. It occurred to him they had the talk of men certain of their words, not weak knees swayed by wine! Might they be telling the truth?
He went back inside with his lamps; a little afraid and unsure. He went back to his room and looked through the window.
Soon after, the shepherds left. Singing and worshipping God, almost so loud they could have woken up the sleepers in the inns on that way.
His heart stilled.
The night was getting spent and already he was exhausted. Chloe and Mark were not allowed to sleep while he was still awake, so they were quietly talking to each other in the first room, Chloe in particular wondering what was happening.
“Chloe, Mark, you can go to bed now! I will stay up a little longer.”
“Master Phinehas is acting strange tonight. You think he’s alright?” Chloe asked.
“Of course, he is fine. You’re the one who’s tired. Go and rest. See you in the morning.”
He picked up his lamp to go and check on the two and as he neared the door this time heard camels outside!
What now? Richer shepherds perhaps?
He decided to open the door and have a look.
And he almost dropped his lamp!!!