Sheep are one of the most common and popular livestock in the Christmas Story.
You see them in every manger scene, the Shepherd was guiding his flock by night. From the first book in the bible to the last, sheep are mentioned.
The the Christmas Sheep blessed our family last year and this is our story.
We live on just over 1/4 acre in a tourist community by the ocean, hardly the area you would associate with livestock.
But our story started quite some time ago with our journey to self-sufficiency.
It began with a little garden, then a bigger one, then the entire yard. We used our rainwater for irrigation and grew much of our own medicine.
Our desire to increase our food production led to us getting bees, then chickens and then miniature milk goats. We were living the homesteading dream right in our coastal paradise, life was good.
Then the county changed the laws. I fought it, I lost. (you can read more about our fight here). We received a notice from the county that we had 30 days to get rid of our livestock or face charges of $500.00 per day, so we complied.
Our yard was now empty and so was a place in our hearts.
It was then that we decided we wanted to sell our home, move out of the only city my husband and children have ever known, and move to the mountains to pursue our homesteading dream.
The Call of A Shepherd
To say the decision to close our business of 20 yrs, sell our house, move to a state we’ve only been to once, made me nervous and scared would be an understatement.
I was questioning our sanity, I changed my mind daily and doubt filled my head before I went to bed and entered it when I opened my eyes in the morning.
Then the phone rang.
Our preacher called and said he wanted to get a live sheep for the Christmas play this year so the children could see it. The story was about how Christ is the lamb and they shared the importance of the Christmas Sheep.
As I mentioned above, we live in a beach community with golf clubs and flip flops not mangers and hay troughs.
In addition to being a tourist area, our preacher kind of put the cart before the horse. He ‘rented’ the sheep without knowing what to do with it when it got here.
Not only did we know how to care for the sheep, but we had the perfect home for it. Since we just re-homed our livestock, we had: vacant and clean manger, fresh hay, feed, and a fenced in yard.
But here is the bonus, our preacher asked if my husband would be the Shepherd for the Christmas play. He would display the Christmas Sheep for the children to see on Christmas Eve.
More Than Just A Sheep
We may have played just a small roll in the Christmas play, but hosting the sheep meant so much more to us.
The sheep bouncing in our yard, standing at our dinning room door, playing with the kids and filling our hearts, gave us confirmation.
Confirmation we were making the right decision. Confirmation we were on the right path and Confirmation homesteading is the life for us.
After the Christmas Sheep came to stay for the holidays, I no longer questioned our dream.
The Story In The Bible
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. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests.’
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.’
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.