Articles Blog

Day 5: Shepherds – A Christ-Centered Christmas Celebration by LDS Living + Don’t Miss This

Day 5: Shepherds  – A Christ-Centered Christmas Celebration by LDS Living + Don’t Miss This


Hi everybody! I’m David Butler. I’m Emily
Freeman. Welcome back. This is day number five of our Christ-centered Christmas
celebration, a week-long celebration of Christmas where we look at all of the
different people from the Nativity and learn about their stories and
invitations and traditions. And today we are gonna be learning about my favorite,
the shepherds. And my second favorite. Who’s your first favorite? The angels. Oh,
and now the shepherds. Okay, here we go. All right, you might remember from last
time, if you were here yesterday, we just ended with the angel singing and
rejoicing in the heavens, this choir concert for all the shepherds in the
field. And then this is what Luke says happens next. This is Luke 2:15–18,
says, “It came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the
shepherd’s said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this
thing which has come to pass, which the Lord have made known unto us. And they
came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told
them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered . . .” There are so many
cool things in these scriptures lessons that we love so much. We just want to
pull out a few of them that you can go back through and make note of, just a
couple of words that are standouts that teach us so much about the shepherds. The
first one you’re gonna find right in verse 15 when it says, “Let us now go.” I
love that they went right then. Like, they weren’t like, “Let me just finish doing
this.” Or, “Let me take care of this.” But they were like, “I’m gonna go right now.” I
ask myself every time I read that if I have the heart of a shepherd? I wonder
when I’m given the invitation to come closer to Christ, whether it is to say my
prayers, to read my scriptures, to go to the temple, how often is my response now
and with haste. And it’s really cool that it says the shepherds, “Said one to
another,” right? That they’re in this little friend group or family group or
something where they’re like, “Hey, should we go? Should we do this thing?” And they
all decide together that they should do it. This is a kind of crew that you want
to hang with, ya know what I’m saying. You want friends like that. Yeah, another
thing that we love so much about this is in verse 18. It says when they go, after
they’d seen, after they go to the manger and they see the baby and they see Mary
and they have that experience, they cannot keep it to themselves. They don’t
go back to the shepherd fields, but they go to every house and every place that
they can find to tell the good news that the angels told them and the experience
that they just had. And it’s neat in 18 it says, “And all they that heard it
wondered.” The percentage of all is 100 percent, so everybody that heard their
story was just touched by it in a unique way, which is really cool. Yep, we
love those two parts about the shepherds. And our favorite
paintings of the shepherds and when we see scenes about the shepherds are the
ones when the shepherds are running. There is no hesitation there. They’re
just like all in, 100 percent. And they’re gonna get there as fast as they
can, but then they’re gonna share it with everyone that they know. We also love
that there is something special you want to know about this story. It’s one of our
favorite parts of the story and it’s something that we learn from Bible
scholars. Yeah, that the shepherd fields right outside
of Bethlehem, they think are where they raised lambs for sacrifice in the temple,
which is so symbolic because Jesus is the Lamb of God and was born to be
sacrificed. And something that they would do, that shepherds would normally do, is
they would take the lambs, remember that were first born and male and had no
blemish. And they would check them. They would check over all of them. And when a
lamb was born that looked like that— Right, they would wrap them up and
swaddling clothes and they would lay it on the manger floor. So when the angels
come and give them that sign to look for Jesus they knew that they were looking
for the Lamb of God. They knew what it meant. And that might be one of the
reasons that they ran with such haste to the manger. And you love that then they
get to the manger, and what do they find? A firstborn male wrapped in swaddling
clothes. This symbolism would not have been lost on the shepherds. Yeah, they
would have gotten there and seen that baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and
known this is a baby born for sacrifice. This is the Lamb that was born to die.
And imagine as they left that place and had that realization and as they went
out and started telling people about this baby that they had seen, they would
have known who this baby was and what they were telling them, “This is a
Savior that has come. He will sacrifice, and then He will heal and He will save
and He will rescue and He will redeem and He will bring back all those who are
lost. This is the Good Shepherd.” I think that’s what their testimony would have
been. Yeah, and they couldn’t have held it in, right? When you learn that kind of
good news, you cannot keep it to yourself. That’s when you know that you’ve learned
the gospel, when you have this urge to spread to somebody else. In our family, one
of our favorite Christmas traditions started
many, many years ago when my kids were little. We would give everyone a candle,
just a tiny candle, and we would all gather together. And we would turn down
the lights, because it’s my favorite thing to do, and we would turn on the
Christmas tree and then we would tell our kids we want you to share one thing
you believe about Jesus Christ. This isn’t your testimony, like what we
would normally bear in church or if you were at a meeting like that, but just
your testimony of Jesus Christ, that’s all. And when my kids were little, those
testimonies were so tiny. They would say, “I know He’s kind.” Or, “I know He loves me.”
But as my kids got older, I loved as we would go around in that circle, and as
each person would share, they would light the candle of the person next to them
and then they would share. And as they got older, those experiences became so
tender. In particular, the years that I have loved the most, hands-down, were the
years before each of my kids left on their mission. I loved listening to their
testimony that Christmas right before they were preparing to go. But then even
sweeter was the Christmas they came back and listening to them share what they
knew about Jesus Christ because of that sacrifice that they had given in the
time that they had spent. Isn’t that so awesome? Okay, put your shepherd in. Okay, when you
are done learning the lesson and talking about the story of the shepherd, you’re
gonna put your shepherd into your Nativity scene. And you want to remember—
This what you remember, so, “The shepherd symbolizes a testimony within, an inner
conviction that we have come to know Christ. The shepherd is a reminder for us
to come closer to the Lord, now and with haste, and then to share our testimony
with others.” Okay, the invitation then for the
shepherds is, of course, to share your testimony of Jesus. Maybe you want to do
what our family does. Maybe you want to get a candle for every person in your family—
And a fire extinguisher. You might need a fire extinguisher, that did happen to us once.
Made it exciting. Get a candle and give one to every person in your family. And
the first person who starts gets to light their candle first,
and then you just light the candle of every person around the room. It’s a lot
more fun if you turn the lights out. It’s just, oh, it is a sacred moment. And I love
that you just said, “Hey, why don’t you just share one line or one small thing
about Jesus that you know or that you love?” Or you can share your testimony in
other places online, or you know, or something like that. There’s so many
ways that you can do it. So that’s the invitation and the tradition and that is
our lesson for day number five with the shepherds. You can’t wait for tomorrow
because it’s the wise men who are coming with their gifts and the lessons that we
learned from them. So that is all for today, and we’ll see you tomorrow! Goodbye, shepherds.

6 thoughts on “Day 5: Shepherds – A Christ-Centered Christmas Celebration by LDS Living + Don’t Miss This”

  1. Thank you for these videos. I have watched them a few times & have shared them with family & friends. Looking forward to the remaining ones yet to come.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *