Saturday, March 11, 2017

We Searched for The Baby in the Manger

By Mary Vee
Luke 2



From Luke's Notes of the Shepherds


Photo courtesy
The most amazing visitor came to our camp a short time ago. I am a shepherd and several other men work with me.

Not far from Bethlehem, we finished our day's work. We corralled the sheep and sat around talking. Sometimes we sang. We didn't carry a tune well, but the sheep liked it.

The stars were really bright and the sky black. Once the night fire blazed an amazing visitor arrived. It was an angel!

I told the story of what the angel said to us last time, you can scroll down and read what happened. I will never forget this visitor.

Anyway, I am walking, a bit out of breath while telling you this story. The other shepherds and I are walking down a hill. No I'm not out of shape. I'm out of breath because of my excitement. The angel told us to visit a very special person.

The angel said a baby had been born tonight. There might have been more than one baby born this evening but not many in Bethlehem. That will narrow the search. The angel also said the baby had been wrapped in swaddling clothes and was laying in a manger. 

Any baby born tonight will be in swaddling clothes. That is a cloth wrapped around the baby to make if feel secure and keep it warm. 

The big clue will be the manger. Babies are usually born at home, in a house. The only way this baby was in a manger would be if the mother was not at home. So she is one of the travelers for the census.

Second this traveling mother would have had her baby in an inn had they arrived in time to get a room. So the next clue is she is someone who arrived this evening. Now we should be able to find this very special baby.

You might wonder, why would a group of shepherds leave the comforts of the open air, on a hill, and walk into the craziness that goes on in the city? All my life I'd heard about the Messiah that would come some day. I and my brothers have looked forward to that day. The the angel said this newborn baby was not just any baby. This baby is the Messiah, Christ, the Lord.

Once the angels left us, the other shepherds and I said to each other, "Let's go down to Bethlehem and see the baby which the Lord told us about."

We hurried through the streets, knocking on every inn along the way asking, "Was a baby born here tonight?" The innkeepers thought we were crazy and they wrinkled up their noses saying we smelled. Okay, so we were shepherds, we couldn't help it.

Finally, one innkeeper answered, "A man and wife arrived a little bit ago. The woman was in labor. I sent them to the stables. You can find them there."

We hurried around the back to a cave-like stable. Hardly a place to give birth. There in the trough, where the animals eat, was a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. The mother and father looked at us. "An angel came appeared a little while ago and told us a baby had been born in the city of David. The baby is the Savior. He is Christ the Lord. The angel said we could find him wrapped in swaddling clothes and laying in a manger." 

We knelt at the manger and praised God. The mother said her name was Mary and the father said his name was Joseph. To think, I was looking at the Messiah. We spoke softly like we do to our sheep, so not to wake the little one.

After our visit we hurried through the streets telling everyone what we had seen and heard that night. The angel who visited us on the hill. The angel's message. The thousands of angels who came and sang praises to God. The baby who is Christ the Lord.

I and the other shepherds returned to the sheep singing, laughing, and praising God for all the things we had heard and seen. 

The sheep were safe and all there.

Everything was just as the angel said it would be. 

And my heart is racing for joy.

The Messiah is here.

Come back for the next story.

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sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary

Jewish History.org
*Jewish Virtual Library.org

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