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Christmas Eyes

Christmas Eyes

“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep,” Jesus said in John 10:11; (NASB).

Sheep follow each other. Wanting to be one is crazy I thought as my son ran around the house singing his Sunday School song at the top of his lungs. The song baaaa-baaa-ed its wanna-be-sheep-desire. Rather than soft wool, a black cape flew from his shoulders.

I sighed. I just want to follow Jesus, but I am such a sheep, I thought.

Christmas lights sparkled from the big fir in the corner. It did not inspire peace on my earth, rather a disquiet stirred inside my stomach. Unbought gifts, cookies to bake, and activities to plan had me wound tight like the swirly ribbon sliding under my scissors.

“Baaaa, baaaa, baaaa,” my little loud-mouthed sheep stopped his chaos to rub against my legs. I leaned down and patted his head.

And in the gesture, I recognized how much of a sheep I truly had turned out to be. So much of my Christmas frenzy had to do with other sheep’s expectations and not the Shepherd. I was trying to keep up with the rest of the flock, envisioning Christmas through the pictures of a magazine, setting my bar by what other people did or a never-ending marathon of more.

“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”

We don’t have to peddle an exhausting wheel of promises. Rather than blending into the herd, let’s consider how to guide children toward something different. Because our children’s deepest need is a close encounter with the Shepherd of the Bible.

Maybe instead of making sure everything sparkles, we need to find a farm and pet some sheep.

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8; NASB).

Maybe a blanket on a chilly hill under the stars would bring the glory of the angels into our children’s hearts.

This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12; NASB).

A night-time search for a feeding trough or basket might bring new awe of that long-ago night. Telling the Christmas story outdoors around a campfire, a few cardboard box sheep, or acting out the story with friends can help them taste, see, feel and hear. Looking through a telescope at the brightest star makes following one believable. Holding a newborn at Christmas will leave your child speechless with wonder at the image of the King of Kings in Mary’s arms.

“Let us go straight to Bethlehem then,” the shepherds said with the glory of angel light still in their eyes.

In the hills around Bethlehem shepherds often tended sacrificial lambs. Those little sheep foretold a Promised Messiah. Protectors, guardians, defenders and keepers, bold in the face of danger, ready to give up their lives for their sheep, a shepherd’s job was not glamorous. Yet, they became privy to one of the greatest events of history.

“So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger” Luke 2:15-16; NASB.

Did the Shepherd of our souls, the Perfect Sacrificial Lamb, lock eyes with smelly sheep-tenders as they knelt hushed beside a manger? God chose ordinary people comfortable with feeding troughs more than thrones. He still does today.

When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds” (Luke 2:17-18; NASB).

And isn’t this what we really want Christmas to be for our children and grandchildren? We want His fragrance to permeate every corner of the holidays. We want the angelic proclamation to stir little hearts with its glorious truth. We want them to know the Good News like eager shepherds brought face to face with Jesus. May the message be so strong they tell the whole world. This is what we really want for Christmas.

By: Sylvia Schroeder serves as Women’s Care Coordinator at Avant Ministries. She and her husband raised four children in Italy and Germany, where they were missionaries with Avant. Their children are all married and they have twelve grandchildren. Visit her blog, When the House is Quiet, at

Join us at for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

One Comment

  1. Yes!!! We want the solid truth for our families for Christmas!!! May your celebrations be joyful and full of lasting peace!!

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