When I was in Israel, our guide took us to a ‘Shepherds’ Fields’ exhibit. The hut was a replica of the day, a couple of actors (I presume—cause there were no sheep in sight!) stood near the door and a forlorn sheepskin attached to a frame flapped in the breeze. Tacky, yes, but at that place a dear old man of unknown nationality walked past and whispered to me… “Merry Christmas.”
That is one of my fondest memories of Israel, because that fellow got it right. It’s not about what we think Christmas should look like, it is about what it is. Christ, the Son of God, coming to earth as a baby… and us searching him out, just like those first shepherds did so long ago.
There were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them.
They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”(From Luke 2:8-12, NLT)
Prayer – Dear Father God, we want to follow you, to the stable and beyond… amen.