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Third Week of Advent: JOY!

December 16, 2013

The third week of Advent, we remember how the angles brought the shepherds good news of great joy!

My great grandfather who was a shepherd.

My great grandfather who was a shepherd.

I like shepherds. My great grandfather used to herd sheep in Colorado, along with a few of his sons.  His name was Elias. 

A good shepherd in the Bible is described as faithful (Genesis 31:38-40), fearless (I Samuel 17:34-36), unselfish (Luke 15:3-6), considerate (Genesis 33:13-14), and believing (Luke 2:8-20).

I asked the kids why they thought that God chose to reveal Himself to shepherds.  Saraa said it was because we are God’s little lambs.  Several of the kids said because God calls Himself the Good Shepherd.  Israel said because Jesus was from the line of David and David was a shepherd.  Captain said that the reason was because Christ is the Lamb who was scarified for our sins.

Announce to the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each family must choose a lamb or a young goat for a sacrifice, one animal for each household….The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!  (Exodus 12:3, John 1:29)

It only makes sense that the shepherds would be the first to examine the Lamb.  Jesus revealing Himself to shepherds confirms His own role as the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world, made flesh, dwelling among us, letting us behold His glory.  It’s as if from the first moments of life on earth, He was showing us that He came to die.  Mary must have seen the signs.  All the more reason she was treasuring up things in her heart.

The foreshadowing of pain and agony, wrapped up in the Good News of great joy.

It’s the third week of Advent.  He’s almost here.  Are our hearts ready to receive the baby Jesus who is also the Lamb of God? 

In this act of revealing Himself to shepherds abiding in the field, the Lord showed us that He honors the common man, the hard-working soul who daily puts his hand to the task and doesn’t get proper recognition.  I think that God likes to honor those who don’t get honor for themselves–fishermen, tax collectors, beggars, carpenters, an insignificant young virgin, innkeepers with too many guests, a widow living in the temple, and of course, shepherds.  Jesus chooses these.  That has to be the best tidings of the greatest joy I can imagine. 

Third Week of Advent

See a snippet of our family’s Advent devotions.  Notice the hilarity that ensues at the 4 minute mark.

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