Patti's Porch

ANOTHER LOOK AT THE CHRISTMAS STORY by Jennifer Slattery
12/19/2020 1:45:00 AM by: Patti Shene

IT IS MY PLEASURE TO WELCOME AUTHOR JENNIFER SLATTERY TO PATTI’S PORCH. JENNIFER EXPLAINS WHAT IT MEANS TO US THAT THE SHEPHERDS WERE THE FIRST TO LEARN OF THE SAVIOR’S BIRTH. 

 

 

 

ANOTHER LOOK AT THE CHRISTMAS STORY

 

 

 

by

 

 

 

Jennifer Slattery

 

 

 

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep Luke 2:8

 

 

 

This holiday season, I invite you to look at the Christmas story through, perhaps, a different lens—not just of all God did in giving us the gift of His Son—the promise of salvation, the prophesies fulfilled, the abiding presence of God for all who would believe.

 

 

 

All of those eternally glorious treasures came wrapped in that baby birthed by a poor yet faithful couple so long ago, and I praise God for that. But this story, told year after year and generation after generation, is more than a promise fulfilled and eternal hope proclaimed, as miraculous and glorious as those treasures are.

 

 

 

It’s also something of a hug for the outcast, the one who doesn’t feel good enough. It’s an invitation for all who feel rejected and insufficient. Through this precious child, God reaches out to everyone who’s ever believed the lie that they’re not good enough. Not smart, wealthy, prestigious enough, “righteous” enough.

 

 

 

All those who went to church seeking a Savior but encountered dress-code enforcers and rule-followers instead, and, feeling out of place, like they didn’t belong, sat in the back pew wondering if this Messiah, this King, could possibly see you.

 

 

 

I’ve been there. I’ve been the woman sitting at the back of the church who felt like she didn’t belong. And that’s why I love that God chose shepherds, a group of outcasts in their day, to proclaim His Son’s birth.

 

 

 

Luke 2:8-14 says, That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

 

 

 

Can you imagine what that must’ve felt like to those shepherds? There they were, minding their sheep, when an angel of God appeared to them, and the Lord’s glory surrounded them. This was a big deal, for a few reasons.

 

 

 

First, according to commentaries, shepherds were considered unreliable social outcasts, who, according to the Talmud, weren’t allowed to act as witnesses in courts of law. According to theologian Warren Wiersbe, their work made them ceremonially unclean and kept them from the Temple, the center of Jewish life, for weeks at a time so that they couldn’t be “made clean.” In other words, they were considered “those types of people,” those you wouldn’t invite over to dinner or want to be seen with.

 

 

 

And yet, by God’s design, they were the first to hear of our Savior’s birth.

 

 

 

Scripture also tells us God’s glory surrounded them.

 

 

 

Also, according to Wiersbe, this was the first time God’s glory had appeared on earth in centuries. If you’re familiar with God’s interaction with the Israelites, you know what a special role His glory played in their history. It was God’s glory, visible in a pillar of cloud, that stood between them and a pursuing army when they were fleeing Egypt. God’s glory, once again visible in that same pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night, led them, day after day, as they headed toward the land long promised them. When God gave Moses the 10 commandments, Scripture says His glory and brilliance rested on the mountain, and it looked like a consuming fire. Later, we learn God’s glory filled the Temple so completely, the priests couldn’t enter in.

 

 

 

God’s glory was His power and His presence, a miraculous display that left the Israelites in awe and assured them that the God of creation was with them. But then, because of their sin, God’s glory departed, and oh, the darkness that followed.

 

 

 

Until on that first quiet Christmas, when God once again appeared, not to kings or to priests or even devout prophets, but to dirty and unkempt shepherds who were quietly tending their sheep.

 

 

 

In this, God made clear that His grace, His presence, His invitation and love, is meant for you and me. We don’t have to clean ourselves up or make ourselves presentable to get to God. In Christ, He came to us.

 

 

 

This Christmas, whether surrounded by family and friends or quietly celebrating alone, may you remember that Christ reached down for you as well. May you sit in His glory this Christmas as you learn to live wholly loved.

 

 

 

Jennifer Slattery is a multi-published author, ministry, and the host of the Faith Over Fear Podcast. Find her online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com, find her ministry at WhollyLoved.com, and find her podcast at LifeAudio.com and other popular podcasting sites.

In her new podcast Faith Over Fear, Jennifer helps us see different areas of life where fear has a foothold, and how our identity as children of God can help us move from fear to faithful, bold living. You can listen by clicking on the link above or by visiting LifeAudio.com.

 

 

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Comments

Natalya Lakhno From CA At 12/21/2020 1:45:01 PM

Beautiful post! Thank you! Merry Christmas <3

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Natalya. Thank you for stopping by. Working you a Merry and Blessed Christmas!

Patti’s Porch


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WELCOME AUTHOR SUE BARR
3/4/2017 11:10:00 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR KIMBERLY ROSE JOHNSON
2/25/2017  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR ROBIN PATCHEN
2/18/2017 11:05:00 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR JUNE FOSTER
2/11/2017 12:30:00 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR PATRICIA BRADLEY
2/4/2017 2:43:00 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL KITTLESON
1/29/2017 11:11:00 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR LILLIAN DUNCAN
1/21/2017 3:20:00 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR MARY L. BALL
1/14/2017 12:50:00 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR VALERIE COMER
1/7/2017 12:50:00 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR JOI COPELAND
12/17/2016 11:00:00 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR TERRI WELDON
12/9/2016 10:15:00 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR LEEANN BETTS
12/2/2016 9:39:00 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR RENEE BLARE
11/5/2016 5:45:00 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR JO HUDDLESTON
10/29/2016 9:45:00 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR CLEO LAMPOS
10/14/2016 10:00:00 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR KELLY KLEPFER
10/1/2016 5:09:00 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR ANGELA D. MEYER
9/16/2016 1:03:00 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR DONNA SCHLACHTER
9/3/2016 1:56:03 AM  by: Patti Shene

WHEN GOD SAYS "NO!"
8/22/2016 12:39:59 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL PALLOTTA
8/13/2016 6:12:58 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR JAMES CALLAN
8/6/2016 12:19:38 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR CAROLE BROWN
7/29/2016 10:27:52 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR CHRISTINE LINDSAY
6/3/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR LEANN BETTS
5/20/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Manners Are Golden ~ What the Bible Says by Nike Chillemi
5/7/2016 12:27:37 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR DIANE KALAS
4/16/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR TANYA EAVENSON
4/1/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR JENNIFER SLATTERY
3/18/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR JODIE WOLFE
3/4/2016 10:22:23 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR KARIN BEERY
2/24/2016 11:00:18 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR ANGELA RUTH STRONG
2/6/2016 12:49:04 AM  by: Patti Shene

REVIEW OF SNOW OUT OF SEASON BY CHRISTY BRUNKE
1/29/2016 11:52:52 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR ELAINE STOCK
1/16/2016 12:57:46 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL PALLOTTA
1/2/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

IS CHRISTMAS REALLY OVER?
12/26/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR ANE MULLIGAN
12/13/2015 4:00:04 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR ANE MULLIGAN
12/13/2015 3:51:47 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR BROOKE COX
11/29/2015 4:17:05 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR H L WEGLEY
11/6/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

PERSPECTIVE
11/1/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR JO HUDDLESTON
10/23/2015 11:28:03 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR SALLY CHAMBERS
10/16/2015 10:21:11 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR TERESA POLLARD
10/9/2015 11:37:57 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL KITTLESON
10/3/2015 5:04:45 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR PAULA MOWERY
9/11/2015 10:39:52 PM  by: Patti Shene

LIFE AFTER LIFE BY JUNE FOSTER
8/22/2015 10:18:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

INTRODUCING A NEW BLOGGING COMMUNITY
8/9/2015 11:24:30 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR SUSAN ANNE MASON
7/24/2015 11:37:04 PM  by: Patti Shene

WHY WE WAIT
7/11/2015 10:51:21 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR MISTY BELLER
6/27/2015 10:51:06 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR ELIZABETH MADDREY
6/13/2015 1:32:20 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR DONNA DOUGLAS
5/22/2015 10:51:09 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR JO HUDDLESTON
5/9/2015 7:57:00 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR LEE CARVER
4/10/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR VALERIE COMER
3/27/2015 11:19:26 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR MARIAN MERRITT
3/14/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR AMBER STOCKTON
2/27/2015 11:00:12 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR CONNIE ALMONY
2/14/2015 8:01:40 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR JAMES CALLAN
1/24/2015 1:41:32 PM  by: Patti Shene

A MODERN DAY MIRACLE
1/16/2015 10:59:08 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR CONNIE PEASE
1/10/2015 7:44:16 PM  by: Patti Shene

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART SEVEN
12/27/2014 11:17:48 AM  by: Patti Shene

AUTHOR GINA WELBORN RETURNS
12/20/2014 11:08:16 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR SUSAN ANNE MASON
12/18/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WHAT DOES ADVENT MEAN TO YOU?
12/14/2014 3:45:38 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR PEG PHIFER
12/8/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR JANET K. BROWN
12/6/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

AUTHOR H. L. WEGLEY WRAPS UP PURE GENIUS SERIES
11/29/2014 12:36:32 PM  by: Patti Shene

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART SIX
11/22/2014 6:55:52 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR BILL GARRISON
11/14/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WHAT DO YOU MISS?
11/8/2014 2:41:19 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR CAMILLE EIDE
11/1/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART FIVE
10/25/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

DINOSAURS AND THE BIBLE
10/19/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR GINA WELBORN
10/10/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

POINT TO POINT TO POINT
10/5/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART FOUR
9/27/2014 9:25:12 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR ANE MULLIGAN
9/19/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

BY THE NUMBERS
9/15/2014 2:24:11 PM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR ADA BROWNELL
9/5/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR JENNIFER SLATTERY
8/30/2014 10:56:45 PM  by: Patti Shene

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART THREE
8/23/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR REBECCA DeMARINO
8/16/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

SITTING IDLE
8/10/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

It's Hot Out Here! by CHERI SWALWELL
8/3/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART TWO
7/26/2014 11:01:15 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR CAROLE BROWN
7/20/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WHY DO WE DO WHAT WE DO?
7/14/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

AUTHOR H. L. WEGLEY RETURNS
7/5/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART ONE
6/27/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR AVA PENNINGTON
6/20/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

UNEXPECTED ACTS OF KINDNESS
6/16/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

REVIEW OF THREE NON-FICTION BOOKS
6/7/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR RENEE BLARE
5/30/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

SEVEN WAYS TO STRETCH SPIRITUALLY BY ADA BROWNELL
5/17/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WHEN FINE IS NOT REALLY FINE
4/23/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

MOMMY MEMOIRS BY ANN VAN DE WATER
4/19/2014 5:33:04 PM  by: Patti Shene

PLAY BALL!
4/17/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

JOE THE DREAMER BY AUTHOR A. B. BROWNELL
4/12/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

ON THE PINEAPPLE EXPRESS BY H. L. WEGLEY
4/4/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

THE THIEF BY STEPHANIE LANDSEM
3/29/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

HUMOR AT THE HOSPITAL
3/26/2014 9:45:22 PM  by: Patti Shene

HEAR NO EVIL BY MARY HAMILTON
3/22/2014 2:39:47 PM  by: Patti Shene

WHEN THE ROAD GETS LONG AND LONELY
3/19/2014 12:56:57 PM  by: Patti Shene

INTRODUCING RYAN'S FATHER BY JUNE FOSTER
3/15/2014 4:19:04 PM  by: Patti Shene

WHERE ARE YOU THE MOST VULNERABLE?
3/13/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

INTERVIEW WITH WRITER BROOKE COX
3/8/2014 11:44:40 AM  by: Patti Shene

Patti's Porch Welcomes Author Rebecca Carey Lyles
3/1/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Flying for Jesus by Lee Carver
2/22/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Putting Out the Fleece by Paula Mowery
2/15/2014 1:02:11 PM  by: Patti Shene

What We Can Learn From the Olympics
2/12/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Hush, Little Baby by Deborah M. Piccurelli
2/8/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Baby, It's Cold Outside!
2/5/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

A Matter of Perspective
2/1/2014 12:52:05 AM  by: Patti Shene

Introducing The Pure Genius Series by H. L. Wegley
1/25/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Monopoly!
1/21/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

welcome author Cheri Swalwell
1/17/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

What Did You Mean By That?
1/14/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Wildlife Video
1/10/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

My Best Reads of 2013
1/8/2014 1:28:40 AM  by: Patti Shene

The Dumbest Kid in School
1/3/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Good-bye to 2013
1/1/2014 1:35:09 AM  by: Patti Shene

Focusing on What Christmas Really Means
12/22/2013 7:00:40 PM  by: Patti Shene

One Spectacular Christmas Display
12/19/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Where are You Going This Advent Season?
11/29/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Shared Experience
11/24/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Facing the Monster
10/25/2013 12:46:47 AM  by: Patti Shene

Review of Reign by Ginger Garrett
9/27/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

I'll Be Happy When...
5/14/2013 11:49:55 PM  by: Patti Shene

Sing Praises - Whether You Can Sing or Not
5/5/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

I Can't Do This!
5/2/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

BREAKING THE RULES
4/28/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR TINA PINSON
4/21/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Vulnerability to Fear
4/17/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Faith and Fear
4/15/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Those Temporary Interruptions
2/21/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Grand Prize Winner at Int'l Wildlife Film Festival
2/7/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Starsongs Giveaway Contest
2/3/2013 2:04:28 AM  by: Patti Shene

Taking Stock
1/30/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Welcome Author Janet K Brown
1/26/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Winter - Bah Humbug!
1/22/2013 10:18:37 PM  by: Patti Shene

Welcome Author Tanya Eavenson
1/19/2013 10:35:41 AM  by: Patti Shene

Welcome Author Margaret Brownley
1/16/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Travel Writing = Nearly Shooting Peacocks
1/12/2013 4:00:39 PM  by: Patti Shene

Water, Water Everywhere - or Maybe Not
1/9/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

The last Day of the Christmas Season
1/5/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Accountability in the Extreme
1/2/2013 12:38:47 AM  by: Patti Shene

The day after Christmas
12/26/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

It's Dec 22nd - And We're Still Here!
12/22/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

The Next Big Thing - Blog Hopping
12/19/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Vanquishing the Christmas Blues by Linda Rondeau
12/15/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Christmas Rayne by Joi Copeland
12/12/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

The Christmas Stalking by Lillian Duncan
12/8/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

News From Nashville & Beyond
12/4/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Author Susan Sleeman offers great advice about wor
11/13/2012 2:10:37 PM  by: Patti Shene

Welcome Home!
11/13/2012 2:00:24 PM  by: Patti Shene

Confessions of a first book editor
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Going Home
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

GPCWC in Restospect
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Vacation in the Adirondacks of New York
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

I am pleased to welcome author Staci Stallings
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Meet Award-Winning Journalist And Author Ada Brownell
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

An Interview with Author Eddie Jones
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Nano Day 11 - um - day 1?
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene