My family and I join with you in celebrating this amazing time of year and wish you a most Merry Christmas! I know you love this season for your family traditions, for the timeless songs of the season, for Christmas plays with kids and grandkids, for the Christmas cookies with lots of frosting, for those little shepherd boys portrayed in your Nativity scenes, and most of all for a time to focus on the event that shifted the destiny of humanity – the birth of Jesus.
The greater your passion to know God and His ways, the greater will be your appreciation for this beautiful tapestry of His sovereignty that is displayed in our world, including the Christmas Story. Did you know that God’s sovereignty was on display through those little shepherd boys in your Nativity? These were not random shepherds wandering around in the fields who happened to see a star and the angel of the Lord. These shepherds were strategically important to the birth of baby Jesus, the Lamb of God. The shepherds were known as Priestly Shepherds – very special shepherds with a very special occupation.
These little shepherd boys – Priestly Shepherds – who are portrayed in every Christmas play around the world, were assigned to watch over the Temple flocks that would provide the lambs necessary for the Temple sacrifice. They watched over the flock from a tower located 3 miles from the Temple called a Migdal Eder – a two level watchtower for the “priestly shepherds” to care for and protect this very special flock of sheep.
Luke 2 tells us about the scene we are all familiar with, but Micah 4:8 will also reveal their role! Luke 2: 8-12 says: “In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
“A Sign” of the Lamb of God
When the sheep were ready to give birth, the “priestly shepherds” would bring the sheep into the Migdal Eder’s lower section for the birthing of the lambs. When the baby sacrificial lamb was born, these “priestly shepherds” would wrap that lamb in what was known as “swaddling cloth” and place them in a manger until they were calm so the lambs would be without defect and suitable to be sacrificed for the sin of the nation. In Luke 2:12 that angel told these unique shepherds “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
As you celebrate the birth of the Lamb of God with people all over the world, I pray that the blessings of God would overtake you in this season – the blessing of shalom peace, joy, celebration, and yes the prosperity of God as He defines it. May 2018 be a year when you see the sovereignty of God on display in your personal lives, your businesses, your families, and your nation.
Blessings on You and Your Family!
Paul L. Cuny