A Shepherd's Heart

Every Christmas season kicks off for me with the Women's Christmas Brunch at our church in Marietta. My sweet friend, Claudia, always hosts three tables for us girls who used to all be in Bible study together. Each table has a hostess; she decorates her table for the brunch. Claudia always goes above and beyond, hence hosting three tables! She is a crafty girl and a wonder with flowers! I didn't bring my camera, but her tables always match the program's theme colors and stand out in the crowd.

NOTE: Be a real blogger, Mama! Take your camera everywhere.

This year the speaker was Lisa Harper. I've heard her speak before at Women's conferences and other functions within our church. She is a phenomenal storyteller and can make the Old Testament come ALIVE! Best of all, her personal stories (hilarious, this year involved a designer goat, an icy hill and cozy pajama pants with shot elastic!) interwoven with Biblical truths are so relevant for women today no matter where you are in your walk with the Lord.

Every year the brunch also brings a new philanthropic opportunity. This year we donated pajamas and gift cards to help children and young adults in need.

A couple of the things from Lisa that stood out most to me:

  • The shepherds were not high on the social ladder at the time of Jesus' birth.
  • Shepherds were considered "unclean" by Jewish standards for their work with animals.
  • If you came across a shepherd, you would steer clear of him so as not to make yourself "unclean" by so much as brushing up against him.
  • BUT these men were the first to get the invitation to come see their SAVIOR!
  • They weren't unworthy to HIM.
  • They weren't unclean to HIM.
  • They weren't abandoned by HIM.
  • The kings followed a star that likely led them to Jesus about 2-2 1/2 years after He was born. He was a toddler by then!
  • When they got there, they had travelled an incredible distance. BUT our nativity scene is not entirely accurate. They weren't there that night.
  • BUT the shepherds were. They got to meet Him first. He came to save them. And to let US know that He came to save us all. Not just the "clean". Not just the "worthy". Not just the "holy". He came to be a King and Savior to ALL.

I've loved teaching my children the Christmas story this year. We have so many books about Jesus' birth. It's interesting how some of them deal with the idea of the Virgin Birth and what Mary and Joseph were feeling at the time of Jesus' impending arrival. I know that right now I'm just teaching the basics, but I can't help think of the conversations my girls and I will have as they grow into young ladies:

About how young Mary was.

About the betrothal.

About Mary's faith.

About Joseph's faith.

About listening to God when the world whispers something different.

About the special plans He has for them.

About the special plans He has for all of us.

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