Rocks: Rocks represent the road Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem.

Donkey: The donkey represents transportation for Mary.

Luke 2:1-5

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

COWS AND HAY: These represent Jesus’ birth in a manger alongside livestock. Luke 2:6-7

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

SHEEP: Sheep were next in the animal line to learn of Jesus’ birth. They were tended by shepherds when angels heralded the news! Luke 2:8-16

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 Savior 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 favor 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.

CAMELS: Camels brought the wise men, most likely closer to Jesus’ second birthday. However, the bringing of gifts and close association to His birth resulted in the Magi being included in the Nativity. Matthew 2:1, 2, 11

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his start in the east and have come to worship him."

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

English carol, traditional

Jesus our brother, strong and good,
Was humbly born in a stable rude,
And the friendly beasts around Him stood,
Jesus our brother, strong and good.

"I," said the donkey, shaggy and brown
"I carried His mother uphill and down,
I carried her safely to Bethlehem town;
I," said the donkey shaggy and brown.

"I," said the cow, all white and red,
"I gave Him my manger for His bed,
I gave Him my hay to pillow His head,
"I," said the cow all white and red.

"I," said the sheep with curly horn
"I have Him my wool for His blanket warm,
He wore my coat on Christmas morn;
"I," said the sheep with curly horn.

I," said the dove, from the rafters high,
"Cooed Him to sleep, my mate and I;
We cooed Him to sleep, my mate and I’
I," said the dove, from the rafters high.

And every beast by some good spell
In the stable dark was glad to tell,
Of the gift he gave Immanuel,
The gift he gave Immanuel.


Why bring up the prominence of animals to the birth of Jesus? Why would this be important? Because, animals share our gift of eternal life, through Jesus Christ:

Ephisians 1:9, 10: And he (God) made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

Colossians 1:19, 20, 23: For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross…This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven….

Each Christmas, we are reminded of the greatest gift of all, the gift of grace through Jesus. Grace is a gift no person deserves. Nevertheless, sins are forgiven here on earth and a place is reserved in eternal heaven for all who confess their sins…

1 John 1:8-10: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

who believe in and accept Jesus as Savior…

Romans 10:9: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

and who ask Jesus into their hearts through the Holy Spirit…

Romans 5:5: And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

Why not receive God’s Love in Jesus this Christmas? Why not celebrate Christmas with the heart of a true believer? Sincerely confess your sins to God, thank Him for the gift of grace through Jesus, ask Jesus into your heart, dedicate your life to Him, and you will receive the Holy Spirit to abide in you always.



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