At the beginning of all things, they came into being, and they sang for joy as creation unfolded, for behold, it was very good! They watched as the foundations of the earth were put in place, as wisdom shaped the heights of the heavens and the depths of the seas, and called forth life. They watched as the man came into being, and then the woman; they watched and they learned that the only thing that was not good was to be alone. But they saw the beauty of the Creator reflected in Creation, and they were glad.
They saw the years pass, and the deeds of darkness that could not bear the light of day. They saw the hunting of the wolf and the owl, and the vicious hunting of man by man. They saw, and they shuddered. Then came the time when they saw nothing – for forty days and forty nights the world was covered by dark clouds. When the clouds parted again they saw their own reflection in the mirror of the vast waters, until the waters receded and the land reappeared.
Time passed. They saw a man called out by God to count them in the desert sky. He was overwhelmed by their magnitude, and even more overwhelmed to be told that he, childless as he was, would be father to a host more numerous than they. And, as generations passed, they watched those children, too many to count, following a pillar of fire by night. They watched the wars and the travails that followed. They watched a king pace his roof with restless lust in his heart, they watched the rise and fall of nations, and sometimes they hid their faces from the horror.
Then one of them was given a momentous task: to travel across the sky from east to west and guide some stargazing mystics to a rough shelter in a little town in the Land of Promise. And, even while that journey was in progress, they witnessed a great marvel, for near that same little place, in the dead stillness of the night, the very angels of God became visible, with a light so bright that the stars felt faint and pale beside it. And the joy of the angels’ song was like the joy sung at creation itself, as if, even in the midst of trouble, misery, pain and entropy, something was being renewed and reborn. And hope coruscated through the universe.
They watched, and in time they knew, for rumour proved to be truth, and the world was being changed forever, as Truth Himself walked through its dust. They shone over a betrayal, and the next night over an empty cross. Then, when the world waited in silence, and no human eyes beheld, they saw the emptying of the tomb, and felt the thrill of wonder.