Agriculture, Faith, Farming

Livestock in the Christmas Story

One of the things we are very proud of at Angel Family Farms is our deep faith in God and the belief that his son, Jesus Christ, died so that we could be forgiven for our sins simply by believing in him and asking for forgiveness. We believe that, as Christians, we are called to do our very best to love others and be humble in the same way that Jesus did all of those years ago. Christmas is a beautiful time to reflect on our faith, so I wanted to share some thoughts I had this week.

This Sunday was the children’s service at our church and our pastor gave a sermon that really got me thinking about Christmas from a different perspective. The importance of agriculture is strewn throughout the Bible. For the most part, when God wanted to get someone’s attention, the first thing that happened was that their food supply was hit. The story of Moses is a really good example of this. The very first plague that was sent killed all of the fish in the rivers and seas. This was followed by a variety of things that would destroy crops (like bugs) and killed livestock. All of the really wealthy guys in the Bible owned lots of land and had plenty of servants or sons to farm it for them, especially in the Old Testament stories. The bible makes it pretty clear that agriculture is a big deal.

The picture of agriculture on Christmas night is painted a little differently. The story that Pastor Christine told us on Sunday (she actually read it out of a children’s book)was of a lamb born with a leg that did not work quite right. After leaning over to Jonathan and commenting that the poor guy just needed a shot of selenium, I returned to listening to the tale of this little lamb who was mocked by all the other lambs because of his limp and was eventually left behind by the shepherds because he could not make the journey to the other pasture. When he returned to the stable for the night he fell asleep with his dear friend the cow. They awoke to people in their stable and discovered that a baby had been born in there and was crying because he was cold. So the little lamb curled up next to the baby and kept him warm using his wool. Mary eventually revealed to the lamb that the baby he was keeping warm was a King and was God’s Son.

A little later on in the service we sang a beautiful little song that I had not heard for many years called “The Friendly Beasts” (I actually had a solo in this song in one of our elementary school Christmas shows, just saying). I have included a version of this song in this post for you to listen to.

All of these livestock references to Christmas night got me thinking. On the actual night that Christ was born there were not any other people around. The shepherds and the wise men all came later. That night it was just Mary and Joseph and (we assume, although I’m not sure if the Bible ever specifically says this) the livestock. God chose some of his most humble servants to be present on the night of the birth of his Son. Creatures that live their lives to provide us with food and fiber were chosen to watch the birth of the man who would soon wipe all of our sins away. Wow.

For a king like Jesus there surely should have been crowds of people and celebrations and songs the night of his birth, but there weren’t! Jesus was born in the most simple way possible; in a barn, surrounded by livestock. This is extremely humbling. To me, this is God saying “Look, on that night you were not there, but the animals were. I chose them because they could be humble in the face of such greatness. They did not ask him for anything; they simply offered whatever they had to give.” God put livestock there that night to show us that we are not necessarily above them because we are people. They provide for us in the same way that it is our job to provide for them. We live a beautiful symbiotic relationship with livestock and it is one that I appreciate more each day; just as a do my relationship with God.

Merry Christmas from Angel Family Farms!

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