Thursday, December 27, 2012

Lesson 204: The Lowly & the Humble

Merry Christmas, Readers!

Santa found the light of the Lamp Post and was good to us this year.

I think it was in large part due to the righting of Sam's unruly behavior.
Sam squeaked in as an eleventh hour addition to the Nice List.
Santa was pleased as were his parents.

The Lamp Post has a new addition (left).  I can now see when I write.  It was my favorite gift.....

....just edging out these.
I think I need a country concert on the calendar for 2013.  Let me know if you find a good one.
Eloise is a ton of fun to go with.

2013 will continue with the Eloise Is Getting Buff plan.
I'm so strong now from my new routine that I needed 15 pound dumbbells.  
More on this inspirational story to come.  Check the next blog for more details about a fun new group of people that Eloise is working with.

For this lesson though, I'd like to focus on some of the simplest creatures:

the donkey

and the sheep:


I've got big plans for 2013.  If I win the lottery or my books make the New York Times Best Seller List, you'll know I've  found success if I have a sheep and a donkey in my possession.  Should I find wealth on a larger scale someday, you won't find me in a bigger house.  I'm staying right here in the Lamp Post.  I'll still be wearing jeans and cowgirl boots, inserting my quarter into the Aldi's cart rack.  I will have a cozy little barn on my 3 acre plot, housing a donkey and a sheep just for my pure enjoyment.  That's when you'll know I've made it Big Time.

I love these creatures as much as my labrador retriever.  These humble and gentle animals are both part of my favorite story--The Christmas story.

Legend has it that at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, animals can talk.  The story is traced back to European folklore that told of the animals in the manger praising God in Latin at the birth of Jesus.

Eloise has a very fuzzy memory of my mother taking me to the barn across the street on Christmas Eve when I was a small child.  The barn is now the winery 6 Mile Cellars.  But at the time Eloise was a tot, this corral across the street from the Lamp Post had horses grazing inside it.  We went to see those horses one night long ago, but I don't remember them greeting me by name.  Knowing my parents their clocks were slow and we got there late.

It was a donkey carried Mary into Bethlehem. 

 Our savior in womb was not carried into the city on a fine horse like those that lived in the barn across the street.  He was delivered there by the donkey which is why you can find one in almost every Nativity set.

The donkey was there for Jesus's birth, as well as his crucifixion as legend tells.  That is why the image of the cross appears on the back of every donkey.

I'll write a little more about this closer to Easter.  For the lesson today, I'd like to reiterate what Pastor Keith taught us at church on Christmas Eve.  Part of his sermon was about sheep.


Pastor reminded us of the words of Luke, Chapter 2, my most favorite story in the Bible.  He talked of the Roman Empire and the census and Mary and Joseph needing to register in Bethlehem.  Mary made that 70 mile trek on the back of a donkey.  There hasn't been a Christmas since my child bearing years that I haven't thought of her.

Verse 8 of chapter 2 reads:  And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 

10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 


One of the most interesting parts of Pastor's sermon was about the shepherds themselves.  Shepherds at the time were are the bottom of the social class.  They spent most of their time in the fields guarding their flock.  They spent more time with sheep than with people.  The shepherds outside of the city did have an important job, however.  It was up to them to raise the lambs for sacrificial purposes.  When a lamb was chosen from the flock, it was wrapped in swaddling cloths and placed in a manger until the time of sacrifice.  How perfect that God would choose His son to enter the earth in this exact way.

Don't be in a big hurry to take down that Nativity set.  Let baby Jesus be present with you as you enter the new year.  When it is time to return your Nativity set to the box again, give more attention to the humble donkey and the lowly shepherd holding the sheep.  They were important parts of the Christmas story, too.  Tonight I gave them a voice here at the Lamp Post.  Don't reduce the part they played in the greatest story of all that happened 2,000 years ago.  The story was so important it's been told and retold an infinite amount of times.  How beautiful is that?

Here is a beautiful story of my own.  If you'd like to experience Christmas at the Lamp Post, click on the video below.  It is set to Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas from Lady Antebellum's new Christmas Album On This Winter's Night......and a winter's night it is.  We got some snow at the Lamp Post today.  What a beautiful night.

Blessings to you this Christmas season,

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