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Twas the Week Before Christmas – Agriculture In The Bible

December 18, 2011

Have you ever looked at the Christmas story from an agricultural standpoint? It gives a much different view!

Of all the important people chosen to hear of His birth, it was the lowly shepherd chosen to be visited. Now picture you’re out in rocky, hilly country. Your work involves protecting the sheep from harm, and this is a job that past and present can mean long hours. Sometimes it’s to protect newborn lambs from predators, and sometimes to protect sheep from themselves. So imagine your boring routine broken by something you can’t explain. We read about this in Luke.

8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold,[b] an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “ Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”[c]

So what did they do? Did they run? Deny what they’d seen? No…they obeyed!

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely[d] known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

They told their story. These weren’t powerful people – they weren’t kings, or people that were celebrities in their day but ordinary farmers.

Sometimes reaching ordinary people with passion is enough. What story will you tell?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2011 9:22 AM

    Thanks for this post… the Bible was written to an agrarian audience, and it comes alive when it’s viewed in that context! Another item you bring into view is the importance of Story.

    One of the most amazing dinners we ever had was with a shepherd in Greece who would walk his flock past our house every day. We invited our Greek pastor and his wife also so that they could help translate – we spoke little Greek and the Shepherd spoke no English. He didn’t know much about the Bible and was not trying to bring it into the conversation at all, but both Old and New Testament texts gained flesh with every story he told about his life.

    • December 19, 2011 3:52 PM

      There is definitely a different view from an agrarian standpoint. Thanks for visiting – enjoy doing these posts when they come up!

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