The Third Week of Advent: Joy

christmas shepherds

The Shepherds Candle- Joy

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”  So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.  When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.  And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.  The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.                                                        Luke 2:8-20

I think that perhaps the shepherds were some of the ones that were faithfully waiting on God to show himself, which is why they were told first about the new baby.  Just imagine being out under the stars, half asleep, when suddenly a “man” appears out of nowhere with light shining around him?!  I think I’d be “terribly frightened” as well!  But after the huge show, they decided to check it out.  They found everything the way it was told to them.  Then they were so excited about the facts, that they went and told anyone who would listen to them.  Probably even some who didn’t want to listen.

Just speaking for myself, but I’m not so sure that I’m anywhere near as excited as the shepherds were about the coming of the Christ child.  Of course I’m thankful for all that happened because He came and what it means to all of us, but am I so excited that I’m willing to tell anyone about the facts, even if they don’t want to hear?

What would you do after you had seen the Child?


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About Erin Phelan

Born and raised in western Michigan, Erin came to Polyface first as an intern in the summer of 2009. While here she met and got to know Grady Phelan, an apprentice at the time. The next spring they were married and after a couple years in Oklahoma they are back, working as sub-contractors for Polyface. Erin keeps herself busy with the jobs of a wife and mother, as well as helping with the animals, gardening, sewing, cooking, baking, knitting and reading.

4 Responses to The Third Week of Advent: Joy

  1. Angela says:

    Every year for the last 6 years, I have taken my kids to the ‘living nativity’ at a local church. They have a camel and Mary rides in on an actual donkey and the entire thing is quite spectacular! I can’t go to it without crying. Silly, I know. After all the baby isn’t really Jesus and Bethlehem is just a parking lot in Santa Clara. This year I asked the kids (I have 4) if they were excited to go /be at the living nativity? They all (except my 3 month old) shouted, “YES!” jumping up and down…I was bursting on the inside too! I turned and commented to my husband, “If we are this excited to see it for pretend, imagine how exciting it would have been to see the REAL thing.” I looked at the crowd of people who had come to see this reenactment of Christs birth, and how excited they were. There was a buzz, and I wondered what it must have been like, all those many years ago, with the masses coming for the census, the chaos and excitement of people reuniting with loved ones, weary travelers, and intimidating Roman soldiers. Everyone I meet I tell about this ‘living nativity’ because it is truly amazing! Really, though, what makes it amazing is that it really happened, some 2000 years ago. God became a human, fully God and fully human, to save us. When I look at the little baby pretending to be Jesus, I can’t help but cry! I cry tears of joy for I understand what He represents; joy, love and hope. And I cry tears of sadness, because God suffered on the cross because of me. I think of my own children and of myself and if I would ever have the courage to sacrifice my life for another. I think if Christ can come to this earth and go to the cross full of love and courage for me, then surly I can go to others full of love and courage and tell them about what this great Man and loving God did for ALL of us. Thank you so much for sharing. I pray all of you there at Polyface Farm have a blessed merry Christmas, and wonderful new year!

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