The 12 Gifts of Christmas, #8- Shepherds
Last week my wife and I were given a really neat opportunity. A local American Heritage Girls troop asked us to dress up like Mary and Joseph and present a skit to their girls. So we put our finest Bethehemian garb over our normal Virginian clothing and began to sweat in the name of Jesus.
Our skit went something like this:
*Mary is sitting in a stable holding a baby. Joseph stands up to welcome the guests.*
Joseph: Look, Mary, more shepherds have come to see Jesus! *motions toward the audience*
Joseph: Did an angel tell you about our baby also?
Mary: An angel spoke to me once. I was very afraid at first, but he told me that I was going to have a baby and it would be God’s son. I was scared that Joseph wouldn’t understand.
Joseph: And I didn’t at first, but then an angel appeared to me in a dream and told me that this baby really was God’s Son…oh, we’re not from Bethlehem you know. We’re from Nazareth and are only here for the census.
Mary: It was such a long journey, too. I thought the baby would come while we were still travelling. And then when we got here, we couldn’t find a place to stay.
blah blah blah…manger…blah blah blah…swaddling clothes…blah blah blah…donkey…blah blah blah…star…blah blah blah…miracles
Mary: The greatest miracle is that God gave us His Son to be our savior. I wish I could tell everyone that He is here!
Joseph: But you and Jesus need to get some rest for now. *turns to audience* What about you shepherds? Do you think you could tell others about God’s gift to us?
Most of the time we focus on what the shepherds received—a visit from angels, a chance to be the “first responders” to the scene, an honor above their social status. Perhaps the reason they were given this opportunity is that God knew that they would not be selfish with the information. The shepherds received their gift of knowledge and passed it on.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. –Luke 2:17 (KJV)
Have you ever been given Amish friendship bread? It is usually a loaf of bread and some starter (a lump of dough that can be used to make more bread). The great part about it is that as you make your bread, you end up with more starter to pass on to someone else. The awful part is that it takes ten days to make the bread and obtain the starter to give away. If you don’t follow the directions and take a little bit of time working on your bread each of those ten days, you won’t end up with anything but a lump of old dough. Amish friendship bread is a gift that should only be given to people who, like the shepherds, will follow through on what they receive.
As I brought the skit to a close and asked my final question I was interrupted by a 6 year old girl who said “Hey! We are not shepherds! We’re just little girls.”
That’s the great thing about Christmas—it doesn’t matter if you’re a shepherd, little girl, carpenter, or king from the east. The gift is the same for all of us, but how far that gift reaches is entirely up to us.
*Not the twelve days of Christmas, we’ve been over this already.
**In reality no gifts will be given. This is a hypothetical sort of thing designed to increase traffic on this website.
***Contest open to legal residents of planet earth and 18 or older to win unless I decide to give a gift to a minor or extraterrestrial. No purchase necessary, although purchases will definitely increase chances of winning. Some restrictions apply, like the fact that there is not an actual prize.
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