... Even the worst heartaches can become heartstrings to God's hope, comfort, encouragement, joy, peace and love...

Welcome! As a fan of the cartoon character Maxine, I enjoy her witty remarks. But when I
read my blogs & other writing to her, she's not very responsive- even when I'm wearing my bunny slippers like hers! She just doesn't get it!
Although she's funnier than I am, I do pray that this site will bring encouragement to your day! I'd love to hear from you! Unlike Maxine, you can leave me a message via the Comments. Shalom, Connie


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Angel 4 & An Army

After Baby Jesus was born, an angel appeared to shepherds in the fields of Bethlehem. They were told where to find the baby; then a company of heavenly host- an army of angels- appeared praising God and saying "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." (Luke 2:14 NIV)

A very humble birth in a smelly stable for animals; an awesome birth announcement from the throne of God made to sheep herders. Do you wonder about these contrasts like I do?

We know from scripture that Abel was the first shepherd. Then came Abraham, David, Jacob, Moses, and Rachel. From Israel's history we also know that shepherds were of the lowest class; they could not be witnesses in legal cases and were seen as sinners, like tax collectors. In the summer, the sheep were moved from field to field for fresh grass and water. The shepherds usually brought a goat skin bag with food in it, a sling and a rod or stick 2-3 feet long with a knob on one end for protecting the sheep from wild animals and thieves, a flute to calm the sheep and for entertainment, a staff for sheep handling and as a walking stick, and a cloak. A pretty simple life and very lonely; the number of shepherds depended upon the size of the flock- from one to many. In the winter, the sheep were brought into shelters. Apparently it was not winter when the angel appeared.

A cute Christmas story says that a little angel asked God if they could clean up the stable. He responded, "No, it is as I planned, but you can go and announce My Son's birth!"

More than any royal decree, the glory of the Lord shone around the lowly shepherds. Maybe, they were the only ones who would go to see a poor newborn in a manger; maybe they were the only ones able to believe that the Savior was born; maybe God was telling that Jesus would become the Good Shepherd. I do not know the mind of God, but I would have liked to have been in that field that night.

Shepherds, did you know?


Shalom, Connie

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