Anyone who knows me, knows that my perspective on the world is just a few degrees off of what most folks regard as centered. LOL
Had fun with the Starry Night software this weekend. You can run it forwards, or you can run it back. Back to say, midnight of December 25 of the year 1 BC. I know the date is totally arbitrary. Since the night the angels were singing their star songs was probably a few months later and a few years earlier. Still, the symbolism of the turning of the year and the beginning of the year’s journey to renewal is hard to ignore.
I can set the viewing position pretty much anywhere so I used Jerusalem and pointed my compass towards the southeast. There is only one real difference in the sky. (Besides the fact that the countryside was probably a lot darker so the stars would have been much brighter.) I ran the software to the same time and date this year. This year Leo will be rising from the horizon. About two thousand years ago it was Virgo. And really, that’s the only difference I can see. A couple of constellations might be at slightly different angles to the Milky Way but I suspect that it’s more a display error than anything else.
So, with a little imagination you can see the sky as a bunch of startled shepherds might have seen it about the time some very unexpected visitors popped in. I suspect the translators have cleaned up the language, made it a bit more formal. “Hey! Yes you! Come on! Look lively now. Get over to that stable down the hill. The Lord has really done it this time! We’ll watch the flocks. I promise that nothing two legged or four legged will touch a wisp of their woolly hides, now get moving!” Just doesn’t have quite the same presence as “Hosanna, Glory to God in the Highest” you know? Although if it happened, when it happened, that may just be close to the way it happened. Eyebrows go up, jaws hit the rocky fields, variations of “did we just see/hear what we thought we saw/heard” go rustling through the darkness. Followed by morning with variations of “you won’t believe what we saw last night! And that I think is what keeps it going after all these years. Very ordinary people saw something. They heard something. Maybe it was starlight and moonlight shining through the night mists. Or maybe there was someone there. Seen out of the corners of their eyes and slipping away before it could be fully seen. Maybe it was the just the wind whispering through the bushes and scrub trees or maybe, just maybe it was angels singing.