THE SHEPHERD AND THE LAMB – The Christmas morning time bundle is always one that seems to offer the biggest challenge to create. There are so many different approaches that can be taken: following an advent study, centering it around a hymn, focusing on joy, peace, love, and hope etc.
This year, though, I felt a very strong desire to focus our attention on Jesus, who is not only our shepherd, but also the Lamb. Have you ever intentionally thought of Him in this way before? Have you ever stopped to ponder that the Shepherd who so lovingly leads and guides us to green pastures and still waters, the one who has become the gate to protect us from those who wish to do us harm is also the Lamb sent to be sacrificed as the sin offering for us. These characteristics of Christ have been very heavy on my mind lately and subsequently the more I think about this the more I understand why the first proclamation of Jesus’ birth was to the lowly shepherds who were keeping their flocks by night. God identified with these men in the most amazing way. He knew what it meant to protect and care for the flock, yet he also understood the price required for the atonement of sin: the death of a pure and spotless lamb.
I hope you will take time to think about the amazing sacrificial love that our shepherd has for us and that this month’s bundle reveals to you the loving nature of our Savior.
Luke 2:13 “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Our music study this month invites us to “Come to Bethlehem and see.” We get to go to Bethlehem, peek through the stable doors, and kneel in amazement before the Christ child, our ears still ringing from the angels’ song. More so than the shepherds, we are able to see who this child is, because we know the Gospel story.
Our hymn has French origins though the writer is anonymous. It has always been printed with no known lyricist or composer. The carol tells the story of Christ’s birth, the angel’s announcement to the shepherds, and the chorus the angels sang on that night over 2000 years ago.
Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echo back their joyous strains.
Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heav’nly song.
Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.
Our poem echoes the praises of the Angels. It was written by William Lisle Bowles, an 18th century poet and clergyman who won the favor of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth.
Hark! Angel voices from the sky
Proclaim a Saviour’s birth;
Glory, they sing, to God on high,
Peace and goodwill to earth!
The artist we are studying this month, Luigi Chialiva, was incredibly talented at painting sheep and shepherds. He was born in Switzerland and in 1868 received first prize awarded by the Mylins Foundation for a painting of animals. A study of his art work reveals that this is a a subject for which he gained his considerable reputation. Chialiva became a respected figure in the arts in Paris. It is said that even Edgar Degas owned a pastel that was painted by him.
The piece we will be studying is titled Feeding Time and is a very sweet depiction of two girls feeding their flock. I loved the light and color in this piece. I hope you enjoy it as well.
As mentioned earlier, we will focus heavily this month on Jesus’ role as our shepherd and the Lamb.
My sister has loved being a student of the Bible since we were young. She is a student of God’s word and is incredibly talented in sharing it with others. Recently I had the opportunity to spend a few days with her and I shared with her my desire for the morning time bundles to have a stronger spiritual emphasis. She has graciously agreed to help me with this portion of the bundles and we are introducing her new role this month. Each week’s schedule includes a link to her blog where she will walk us through a weekly devotion to accompany the scripture we are memorizing. I hope you will take the time to read these each week as I believe they will be a blessing to you and your family. The scripture passages that accompany this months study are as follows and you can find my sister’s blog posts accompanying each one here.
- Luke 2:8-14
- Psalm 23
- Isaiah 53
- Revelation 7:9-17
We will be revisiting the sheep this month as the focus of our nature study. We first studied sheep in the Winter Morning Time Bundle 02.19 but I felt it was good to include it this month also. I hope you don’t mind that we are going to focus on them one more time. If this will be your second time studying the sheep with us. I hope you glean more from this study than you did with the previous. There is always so much more we can learn.
If you have the opportunity to visit a sheep fold this month, I encourage you to do so. This will be a wonderful addition to your learning. As usual, we will use The Handbook of Nature Study to help direct our learning. The nature study sheet will guide you through this.
This month our craft is a reminder of the beauty that can be found in simplicity. The foundation of this months craft are simple accordion folds, reminiscent of our own elementary school days. We will be using them to construct paper stars and angels. I used pearlized card stock from Hobby Lobby for some of mine and wrapping paper for others.
These crafts are very forgiving: no need to measure every fold as long as you try to keep them as uniform as possible. Materials and instructions for this months craft are listed on the craft sheet included in your download.
Abraham Lincoln, our countries 16th president is the focus of this month’s character study. There is so much we can learn about Abraham Lincoln. Honestly, he could be studied much longer than one month. I have included some additional resources on the “additional resources” page of the download to help take you a bit further in your study of this famous president if you desire to do so.
I truly hope that you will try this month’s recipe of homemade marshmallows. I have heard from others that they found homemade marshmallows to be hard and messy. They are messy, but the recipe you will follow this month is not difficult at all and it makes some of the best marshmallows I have ever tasted.
Once you have made them, I hope you enjoy your new sweet confection over a warm cup of hot chocolate. They will be a wonderful addition to a cozy, December evening.
Thank you, again, for your continued support of my small business. Your presence here gives me the opportunity to share my passions with others, encourage families to grow together, both spiritually and educationally, and allows me the continued blessing of homeschooling my own children. I am so grateful for you! Merry Christmas, friends. May the coming holiday season be one of the sweetest and most dear your family has ever experienced.
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