December 15, 2001
Orthodox Shepherd's Field
it's Christmas, I dropped by Shepherd's Field in Beit Sahour today.
It's a field with a nice big new church built in it. Because the
Bible doesn't give an exact descriptions of the location, there
is some dispute over which site is actually where the angel of
the Lord visited the shepherds, announcing the birth of Jesus.
I visited the site that the Orthodox church claims. (There is
another site nearby maintained by the Franciscans.)
Shepherds and the Angels
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 of great joy that will be for all the people. Today
in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ
the Lord. This will be a sign to you. You will find a baby wrapped
in cloths and lying in a manger."
great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angle, praising
God and saying "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth
peace to men on whom his favor rests."
When the angels
had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one
another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has
happened, which the Lord has told us about."
So they hurried
off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in
the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning
what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it
were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured
up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds
returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they
had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.