Merry Christmas from the Matzke Family!
“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 that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” ~ Luke 2: 8-12
I love the painting this event from Luke paints in my mind and often wonder what it felt like to be there in that time and place – perhaps under the stars in a field damp with evening dew, the familiar smell/sounds of sheep, and the quiet of the night suddenly interrupted by the angel’s joyous announcement of the birth of Jesus Christ, our LORD and Savior. I am sure they felt more alive than ever before! Such JOY!
How much we have to be joyful for, though it is easy to forget when things are difficult in the moment. We just pushed through the most exhausting few days leading up to Christmas day (a blizzard with -45 degree windchills and 12-foot drifts between us and our barns). Keeping our cattle water open was a challenge we had to face every 3-4 hours or risk damage to our new winter watering station. At one point the wind shifted and a snow drift completely covered our sheep shelter and we had to dig them out/drive them to a new location in our main barn. Despite the challenges, everyone weathered the storm safely, and slowly but surely, we have been able to dig ourselves out of the snow and make chores more manageable.
“But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall JOYFULLY sing of Your loving kindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold And a refuge in the day of my distress.” ~ Psalm 59:16
While the storm raged outside, we found JOY in the extra time spent together as a family playing board games, baking, watching movies, snuggling puppies, making music, and celebrating the story of Christ Jesus, our Savior’s birth.
“And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” ~ Philippians 2:8-10
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” ~ Romans 15:13