Thursday, December 13, 2012

While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks-Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about shepherds...a key ingredient to any nativity tableau. (read it here)

Weep not, behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah has prevailed...and I beheld, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures stood a Lamb as it had been slain...Revelation 5:6

Sheep are no less important players as their shepherds in nativity scenes. Sheep conjure up visions of cute and cuddly woolliness.

For our Christmas program this year, LC is memorizing this poem by William Blake.

Little lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee,
Gave thee life, and bade thee feed
By the stream and o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, wooly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?

Little lamb, I’ll tell thee;
Little lamb, I’ll tell thee:
He is called by thy name,
For He calls Himself a lamb,
He is meek, and He is mild,
He became a little child;
I a child, and Thee a Lamb,
We are called by His Name.
Little lamb, God bless thee!
Little lamb, God bless thee!

Such a sweet poem, and jammed packed with great theology.

"Little lamb, who made thee? Little lamb, I'll tell thee. He is called by thy name, for He calls Himself the same. He is meek, He is mild. He became a little child. I a child, and thee a Lamb. We are called by His name."

John the Baptist, in viewing this scene in heaven, is hearing about the LION. Strong, fierce. King of the beasts! Yet when he looks, he sees a Lamb.

Christmas is the celebration of the Savior being born. And for a Savior, God didn't require a roaring lion of a king. He required a meek and mild, perfect Lamb. It was this sacrifice that would take away the sins of the world.

Jesus Christ was born King. Born. He didn't just appear, adult king on the scene. Ready to reign.

Like a lamb, He was a helpless, innocent Baby. He grew to be a child, who needed direction and care and training. And eventually, He was the grown Man-the Lamb of God. 

Not only are Christians called to be shepherds, praise the Lord! We are also sheep. What a privilege to be called one of Christ's lambs! To share that title too. 

It is our call to follow our Shepherd. To be sheep. To hear and obey our shepherd's voice. 

Know ye that the Lord, He is God. It is He who hath made us, and not we ourselves. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. (Psalm 100:3)

The first time a sheep is mentioned in the Bible is as Abel's sacrifice. He gave his best sheep as a sacrifice.

Most of us won't have to shed our blood to be a sacrifice, (Jesus Christ's blood is enough. His one sacrifice as the Lamb, paid the price for the sin of the entire world-past, present and future.) but we are called to be living sacrifices. Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God. This is your spiritual act of worship.

My challenge to you this holiday season is to look at your nativity scene with new eyes. Look at Christ.
Remember His birth. Remember Him as a baby. Remember Him as the Shepherd and the Lamb. 

And let these reflections spur you on as both a shepherd and lamb. Look for ways to sacrifice, to follow and to lead. To protect and to obey.

Let this nativity scene dig deep into your heart, and change you forever.

I a child, you a lamb. We are called by His name...Jesus, Lamb of God, worthy is Your Name.