Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas At Innermost: Shepherds

Part 5

16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 
17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 
18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished... 
(Luke 2:16-18 New Living Translation)

Jezreel went back to his sheep...for a time. Everywhere he went, though, he told the story about the angels, the young parents and the Baby in the feeding trough. To be sure, some scoffed when he said, "The Baby will grow up to be our Messiah!" Others, though, pondered his words. 

Finally, one morning, Jezreel spoke to his mother. "I prayed to the Eternal that very night before the angels came. I asked Him to anoint me with the oil of purpose for my life. I have met a wool merchant who works in Jerusalem near the temple. He has offered me a job as his helper. He will provide food and a place to stay. He has heard my story and will give me time to attend Torah classes and study the Scriptures. I will never be a Rabbi, but I can learn. And I can keep telling others about that night!"

Reluctantly, his mother gave him her blessing. Twelve years later, he was studying the Scriptures in a little room at the Temple, when he heard a commotion in the Court of the Israelites. A Boy was in a passionate discussion with the Priests and the Scribes...

To my readers: the events surrounding the birth of Christ are given extensive coverage in Scripture. The parts we don't always know about are the human elements, especially from the viewpoint of Jesus' participants. My attempt this Christmas is to stay true to the Biblical text, while shading in what it may have been like "between the lines." Please distinguish my ruminations from God's Word by reading the first few chapters of Matthew and Luke. My hope is that reading my words impacts you even a tiny percentage as much as writing them has impacted me.

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