This beautiful hand-made ornament offers a reminder that whom God calls, He qualifies. He can make us fit to meet His Son as we accept the invitation to do so. It comes with a 5" x 7" card of the original painting "The Shepherds' Invitation" with a description on the back.
wood ornament measures 3.25" in diameter
- 5" x 7" card included
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.” (Luke 2:8-9)
While doing the research for the “Little Lamb” painting, I came across the work of Alfred Edersheim, a jewish convert to Christianity, who suggested that the shepherds the night of the Savior’s birth were tending a flock from which were drawn sacrifices for the temple in Jerusalem (The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah). They had been trained to select those lambs that were the first born male without blemish. I was so moved by the beautiful symmetry posed by these shepherds then witnessing the birth of the Lamb of God, I knew I had to paint them.
I originally assumed these men must have been better than other shepherds, for they were temple shepherds. I thought they were special, perhaps more holy than others. I wondered how I would paint them as more spiritual than a typical shepherd. I thought these shepherds must have been prepared for their role at the birth of the Savior.
However, several things began to change my perception, for one, archaeologist Jeffrey Chadwick assured me that they weren’t the only ones who tended temple sheep, many of the flocks surrounding Bethlehem and Jerusalem were used to draw sacrificial lambs. So in essence, they weren’t the only ones with the job of looking for those blemish free lambs. Also, as I pondered on the scriptural account, it says, “...and they were sore afraid.” If they had really been prepared for this, then why would they fear? I thought about how we’re often given callings that we’re not prepared for. God usually picks a path for us that takes us out of our comfort zone. But as we accept His will, and move forward, He readies us in the going. He makes us fit for the call in the act of fulfilling the call.
Then one early morning as I painted, God whispered to me, that perhaps I had been wrong. God didn’t just select a few worthy souls to come and witness His Son, the invitation is to us all. The Shepherds were just a symbol, a pattern to follow: a few men, prepared or not, but lowly in station, who were invited to come and see. This same invitation is extended to us today. He invites everyone to obtain a personal witness. And as I pondered this truth, I was overwhelmed by the love of God for His children. He’s there waiting to teach us of His Son, whether we are temple material or not. He invites the broken, the weary, the humble, the poor, for we are all His children, and His love is unbounded.
I think the spirit of Christmas that we know so well, is actually the spirit of Christ, the love of God for all, that came with the gift of His Son. And I think if you pause long enough this Christmas season to feel it, it will witness to you that Christ was indeed born on that dark night long ago. That He came as the last sacrifice for all mankind. And then once we know as the Shepherds knew, may we follow their example:
“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 at those things which were told them by the shepherds.” (Luke 2:17-18)
May we come with the Shepherds to the manger, may we feel the love of the Son of God, and then may we share it with the world. I’d like to add my witness this Christmas to those of the shepherds. As I have worked on this painting for months and months and over hundreds of hours, the Spirit has confirmed to me over and over again that His Son was indeed born as a baby in Bethlehem, and that He did fulfill His call to redeem all mankind. So joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let Heaven and Nature sing! And may earth receive her King!"