Best night to go shepherding

When we went to Bethlehem there was an area near the birthplace of Christ called the Shepherds’ Fields. Throughout history, this site had been identified with the shepherds who saw the Star of Nativity the night Jesus was born.

Shepherd's FieldsIsn’t it profoundly curious that the birth of the Messiah should be announced not to monarchs nor wealthy men, but to shepherds?

Imagine how they must have felt, out in the fields in the night as per usual. And then suddenly, everything happens just like that.

The image below wasn’t taken in the Shepherds’ Fields; I took it on the bus as we swooshed past a hill on the roadside. I’ve seen sheep and shepherds before, but it’s a whole different thing when you see them in Bethlehem.

shepherd and his flockThat’s a pretty long line, isn’t it?

The Shepherds and the Angels (Luke 2:8-20)

8 There were some shepherds in that part of the country who were spending the night in the fields, taking care of their flocks. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, 10 but the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people.11 This very day in David’s town your Savior was born—Christ the Lord! 12 And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great army of heaven’s angels appeared with the angel, singing praises to God:

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them back into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and saw the baby lying in the manger. 17 When the shepherds saw him, they told them what the angel had said about the child. 18 All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said. 19 Mary remembered all these things and thought deeply about them.20 The shepherds went back, singing praises to God for all they had heard and seen; it had been just as the angel had told them.

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