MEET ME IN SHEPHERD’S FIELD

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Good Sunday morning! It’s now less than two weeks until Christmas. Like many of you, these last days before Christmas are my favorite. I love the lights and trees and carols and food and family and the presents and all the decorations … and just about everything!!! But, all the trapping that come with Christmas are very odd and foreign if we are talking about the real place and time and story of the Christ Child’s birth.  Let’s sit down in this field, the real Shepherd’s field, and look at the real story…

Before I spent time in Israel I imagined Shepherd’s Field, the place where angels announced the birth of Jesus to lowly shepherds, as a big open grassy plain. A place of great beauty and open spaces… like on a Christmas card.
 
The picture above is of Shepherd’s Field today… not at all what I imagined… but then, most of what is true in the bible is not what many of us imagine
 Shepherd’s field is like much of Israel…rocky and bleached by the sun… with some scraggly brush and a few hearty weather-worn trees!  Shepherd’s field consists of  two sloping hillsides meeting in a narrow ravine.  
 
This is the real place that the angel of the Lord suddenly stood before the shepherds with the glory of the Lord surrounding them, frightening the poor shepherds almost to death  (Luke: 2:9)!
 
This is the real place that God’s messenger (the meaning of “angel”) came with a message from God to not only the shepherds but to the whole world… “a message of good news and great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10).
 
When I take away all my preconceived notions of what Shepherd’s field SHOULD look like and what I think happened, I begin to see the simple and real truths of this passage.
 
Here, on an ordinary evening… in an ordinary field in Israel…were ordinary men of lowly status… doing their ordinary job. They were probably like many of us… going to work and maybe not loving it. They had real life problems and real life wants and needs. It was just another ordinary evening in the outskirts of Bethlehem two thousand years ago.
 
It was there and then that God stepped into their lives! He had an announcement. Like a proud Abba (Hebrew for Daddy) he told of the birth of His Son.  This is where the ordinary stopped… and the incredible and extraordinary began!
 
The angel said, “… for today in the city of David, there has been born for you a Savior who is Christ the Lord”. ( Luke 2:11).
 
To the ancient Jews… an ancient, orthodox, eastern thinker… here is a little flavor of what they heard in those words…
 
Today in King David’s city “House Of Bread”… the meaning of Bethlehem.. is born to you… the nation Israel… a Savior… the one that had been foretold by the Prophets and long awaited, one who would SAVE his people…Christ... the Greek word for the Hebrew word Messiah, meaning the anointed One. Only kings, prophets and priest were anointed. Anointed means to have oil poured over one’s head as a  sign of being singled out and having the ability to do do a specific job… the Lord…. creator, owner, in essence God.
 
This was better than “good new”! This was the best news. The Jews had been waiting thousands of years for a Savior to come and free them from the bondage of occupation and oppression by foreign countries!
 
But the angel said this was good news for all people. I bet this news was not that great for the oppressors of the Jews… if that is truly what this scripture passage really means!
 
Why would this be such good news to all men?
 
The chorus of heavenly angels that appear to praise God might have the answer!
 
They say, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth … don’t stop there…among men with whom He is well pleased (Luke 2:14)!
 
 
The Christmas cards stop the verse too soon… they usually leave out “among men with whom He is well pleased”.
 
Here is the good news for all people! Peace! The Hebrew word for peace is “Shalom”. It is a word rich in meaning… a word deep and wide with wholeness and well-being.
 
This peace that God is proclaiming… brought about by His new Son is not the kind of peace we read about on our Christmas cards. Oh no!
 
God is not saying peace on earth… as in no war… the kumbaya… let’s all be one big happy family peace. No… No …NO!
 
The peace God is proclaiming is even better… it is a peace between Him and the people that please Him.
 
How can we know if we are one of those that please Him?  Here is the best part! We don’t have to do anything to please Him… just believe!!!
 
Believe in the Son He sent. It is this Son that will repair the relationship between God and men that has been broken by sin. It is this tiny newborn baby that would grow up and shed His sinless blood to wipe away our sins that keep us from the Father. It is this Christ that will bring about the Peace all men desire!
 
God loves us so so much. He always wants to have a relationship of wholeness and completeness between us. So great was this desire that He would give us His Son… to save us and bring eternal peace… between GOD AND MEN!
 
“For God so loved the word that He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
 
For God did not send His Son into the world to judge it, but that the world should be saved through Him” John 3: 16 and 17.
 
The shepherds watching their flocks in Shepherd’s field were the first to hear God’s birth announcement of His Son on the night He was born.  They heard God’s invitation of peace in the angels praises and went seeking Him.  And they found Him… they found the Savior, the Christ, The Peacemaker, the Lord! He was lowly like them, lying in a food trough. 
 
Are you seeking too… because if you are you WILL find Him too! 
 
“Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be open unto you. For whoever asks receives, whoever seeks finds, and whoever knocks it shall be open.” Luke 7:7and 8
 
 
Ask for God’s peace in your life… seek the Savior with all your heart… knock on the door to a relationship with God Himself.  
 
 
I spent an evening in Shepherd’s field. It was an ordinary evening in an ordinary field in Israel.  But God stepped in and made it incredible and extraordinary. He impressed me with the real truth about Shepherd’s field and Peace on Earth!
 
This Advent season I wish your SHALOM… I wish you PEACE!

48 Comments

    1. Thank you for sharing the real meaning if Christmas with us.
      Although many of us know the story, we are so enriched to think deeply about the context and meaning for us. So many people have only heard a brief description of a Christmas card and so this is essential information for many people.
      That God chose to bring Himself, His firstborn Son to live among us for the very purpose of bringing about our Salvation through His Sacrifice as The Lamb of God is truly amazing. God loves us that much! Merry Christmas!

  1. You have lifted my day that did not start off very well.. From what I can tell we do every thing just about the same.. We could be twins. I am so grateful to have found you. Wishing you and your family a very blessed holiday.

  2. Dear Yvonne-
    I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I too have been searching, searching for what I do not know.
    I just asked God in my quite time (just now) what can I do – what else can I do in my life.
    I received your email, and it was there right in front of me, Just receive Him – believe Him, adore Him.
    Have faith that you are one who He is pleased with.
    I felt this today after reading your story.
    You are a very special lady, and I am so happy I follow your blog.
    God bless you always, and give you Peace this beautiful Christmas season.
    Much love,
    Rose

    1. Oh Rose! Jesus IS the answer to all our searching. He came to scoop us up and save us from the penalty of our sins. Believing that He is God and His death paid for our sins make us Children of God …. FOREVER! I hope this Christmas is your best ever!

  3. Thank you Yvonne. I love the Christmas season with the sights and sounds. I most love being around the people who mean the most to me. Even in the rush and the hustle and bustle of the season, there is a peace that surpasses all of our understanding when we acknowledge the real reason for this season. May you continue to let His light shine.

  4. May God bless you and your family for all of your time and efforts. For you touch hearts and homes with your inward beauty that shows forth in all you do and say.

    With grateful heart,
    Peace
    Kimberly

  5. Thank you Yvonne. As I read your message this morning I was overwhelmed with the love our Savior has for us. It was especially heartfelt because my little granddaughter Savannah (she is 5) came to me this week wanting to receive the gift of salvation. It was so precious and absolutely the best Christmas gift ever.
    Merry Christmas,
    Tina

  6. Yvonne, I felt like I had just attended church early this morning after reading your beautiful post and sharing the magnificent message of how God came down to man and offered us salvation and eternal grace and freedom. Aren’t we so blessed to be called children of God! I love following your blog and your insights on life. It is a place of inspiration and hope. I hope this Christmas season is filled with good health, family, friends, and great food to enjoy.

    Blessings to you all,

    Donna

  7. You bring us soooo much beauty AND help us create beauty in our homes!! But the greatest thing is you bring out the BEAUTY of HIS WORD!

  8. Dear Yvonne;
    What a beautifully written post! Jesus came to save the world from sin, so we can go right up to The Almighty God, and be cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! If anyone does not know the Lord on a personal level, please just talk to Him. He will hear you and respond. There us nothing magical or scary about it, its like talking to your mom or your sister. Jesus loves you very much. Peace and Blessings, Doreen

  9. Thank you Yvonne, for having both the faith and the courage to post this. I needed to read this today. It is so easy to get caught up in the preparations and forget to step back and reflect on what Christmas is really about… hope and joy and peace and eternity all delivered by a tiny baby in the manger. Wishing you and yours His peace as well, now and throughout the year.

  10. How wonderful amid the hustle and bustle of the holiday to read this and be reminded of the grace of our Lord and his gift to us, in his Son. Thank you for the reminder of the reason for Christmas and the true joy that is in my heart as I celebrate the birth of Christ.

  11. Quite a review of our church sermon this morning. The next verse (Luke 2:17) says that after the shepherds saw him, they spread the word and all who heard it were amazed. You, my dear sister, have just done the same. Thank you for sharing our Savior with others . Have a wonderful CHRISTmas!

  12. Thank you for all your thoughtful messages, especially todays. It’s a reminder that Christ is here always, and He loves us. The greatest gift we can give Him is to open our hearts to Him. Praise Him! Love and peace to you and your family.

  13. Here is the real reason for the season not the decorations, not the presents, not the Christmas trees, like you saw in that lowly field just the pure essence of HIS being . There were none of these things back in that field, So surely we all need to remember why we celebrate, and try to put ourselves in the real shepherds field and be as lowly as those that were. Thank You Yvonne it made me cry and was in awe for your sermon and the courage to post it. HAVE A VERY BLESSED SEASON

  14. Yvonne,
    I have just been diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer that has metastised to my brain. I had a Craniotomy last week and just got home from an 11 day hospital stay. While I truly believe in God, I’ve never been overly religious. However, I need tell you that your post this morning meant more to me than you will ever know. I needed your words of faith today. Thank you for such a deep, heartfelt post that absolutely warmed my heart.

    1. Jane i just lost my brother at the end of June ; and a sister five years ago to the same thing but they fought long and hard w/ their faith and gods power and the prayers of all their friends and family. You too can do it and my prayers will be there with you as God wraps his powerful arms around you to protect and guide. Blessings at this holiday season.

    2. Janet, I will be praying for you! Now is when you need to turn your life over to Jesus and accept His death for your sins. Then you can be strong and rest that you will be be eternally HIS! I am saying this with the utmost love and hope for you! May God RICHLY BLESS you!

  15. Beautifully written expression of the true reason we celebrate Christmas. It is so easy for us even as Christ followers to get caught up in the trappings of Christmas and give little heed to the reason we celebrate in the first place. Thank you for sharing this truth with us. May you and your family have a blessed Christmas.

  16. Sooo true.
    Thank you for this one and all your Sundaythoughts Yvonn.e. And for your beautiful pictureblog!
    Best wishes and Merry X-mas from The Netherlands.

  17. Yvonne,
    Thank you so much for the beautiful written words. It is truly wonderful to know Jesus as a personal Savior and especially at this Christmas season to know the real reason we celebrate. Thank you for sharing the best message ever and letting your light shine through your blog.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!
    Kim

  18. Yvonne – Thank you for this beautiful message. This is truly the reason for the season. Having lovely Christmas decorations, packages under a beautifully decorated tree and a wonderful Christmas dinner are nice, but having peace in our hearts is what I believe is most important. Have a wonderful Christmas with your family!

  19. Love your blog, your style, your ideas. But I must say, there is nothing you could EVER say that is more important than what you said today. Praying the greatest of joys in Christ for you, your family and your readers this Christmas.

  20. Wow. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing your individual experience in the Shepherds’ Field and your lovely interpretation of the Christ Child’s birth. Awe-inspiring. Emotional. Amazing.

  21. Yvonne, thank you for putting this story into perspective in a beautiful and hopeful way. There were images in the 23rd. Psalm that I had trouble wrapping my mind around ie; green pastures, anointing my head with oil. Hallelujah now I see! Green pastures were not common, they are a gift of rest and peace and refreshment with our Shepherd, anointing my head with oil is, I was singled out and gifted with a specific job. Thank you Yvonne, thank YOU JESUS!

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