They Heard the Angel of the LORD

Christmas 2012As the snow continues to accumulate I thought I would share a quick favorite moment from the past few days with my family. We gathered at Silas and Bianca’s after the Christmas Eve service of Eastside Baptist Church. This was a first time in several years for Renee and I to have both boys present on Christmas. The first time to have Christmas with our daughters (in-law). And always a treat to be with Renee’s dad.

Several years ago I read about an idea of setting out shepherd bags instead of stockings on Christmas morning (HT: John Piper). I asked Renee what it would take to do this, and of course she was eager to help make this happen for us. We both went to work reading and researching what a shepherd’s bag even was. www.slinging.org became the main help on how to make a shepherd’s bag. I also thought I would make slingshots for everyone.

This is an idea I wish I had acted on years ago. But rather than wish I had done it again after this Christmas, we did it. Renee was a huge encouragement and participant in the project.

The main reason for doing this was to help keep a less secular emphasis on this important day. I think Christmas is worth every effort a Christian can put on it as a day that should evoke celebration and worship to God. Many times, however, this reason is lost in the secular rush of the moment. My family has made major shifts on how we handle this day but none as helpful as this one, I feel.

There were moments in the production hours that reminded me of our early years with small children in our home and little money. We usually made gifts for each other. It’s helpful that I’m married to a creative and capable wife who always helps.

The kitchen became a workshop once again, but this time with a fresh emphasis on a class of people who first heard the good news that the Messiah had been born in Bethlehem. I enjoyed researching and reading about the shepherds and the unlikely band of ruffians to receive such grand news.

I must say that Renee would get a little nervous when I would announce that I was going out again to check test the slingshot durability. I’m sure there were no window anywhere near a shepherd. How would you inform the insurance adjuster that your husband was out in the front yard testing the slingshot production when the rock hit the window? Fortunately we didn’t have to make that phone call this year.

Here are a few photos of the project. If you would like more information on this idea please let me know, I’ll be happy to share with you more.

Shepherd Bags
Renee had already made the bags. My job was to add shoulder straps. A shepherd bag was used to hold a slingshot and rocks.
Slingshot
The slingshot was a shepherds weapon to fight off predators. In this photo, Renee had just brought me lunch. Perfect meal for slingshot production.

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