And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord (Luke 2:8-12).
I had the great privilege of visiting Israel a few years ago, and needless to say, it was a momentous time in my life to see where Jesus had lived and to walk where He and His disciples had walked.
But one place stood above the others. Our bus took us to the edge of a large field, which was situated right next to Bethlehem, the small town where Jesus was born. I have read the verse above a million times because it is part of the Christmas story.
But I never realized where the field was. Now I could see that the field where the shepherds lived was right next to Bethlehem and very near the Jewish Temple! And it wasn’t all that big. I could clearly see why God chose this particular field and these particular shepherds because they were guarding the sheep for the sacrifices in the Temple. And I could see a pathway leading from the field to the Temple.
And that was why they understood the instructions from the Angels:
This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. (Luke 2:12)
Yes! The cloths they would wrap a newborn lamb in were the same ones Mary and Joseph would wrap their new son with. He was lying in a manger because He would one day replace the animals sacrificed in the Temple.
Suddenly, after all these years of singing Christmas songs, I understood the reality and the full meaning of where Jesus was born and why shepherds were the first to hear that beautiful announcement that the Messiah had been born!
I pray that you will ‘see’ Christ at Christmas this year and thank God for His indescribable gift to us—that Jesus came to be with us and to die for us but then he was resurrected by the power of God, so He is with us forever!
This is the hope and miracle of Christmas.
Lane Jordan-Burday is the Pearls of Promise Ministries Prayer Co-Coordinator; POP Talk TV and Radio Co-Host and Writer. She is also is an award-winning and best-selling author of over ten adult and children’s books. She is a speaker with Stonecroft Ministries, seminar leader, professional life coach, Bible teacher, and artist. She served as the Associate Producer for the program In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley. She prays for women to come to know the Lord is God!
Lane’s latest book, Evangeline, is a historical fiction based on the book of Esther. You can reach Lane at: email@example.com. Her website: www.LaneJordanMinistries.com.