When you visit Bethlehem you will also want to travel a short distance east of Bethlehem to the Christian village of Beit Sahour . Here you will find the Shepherds’ Field spoken of 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.’” (Luke 2:8-10)
You are standing on the very site where the angel appeared
to the shepherds to announce the good news, a child is born in the City of David— a savior, who is Christ the Lord. (11) Here they saw the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (14)
One can imagine how quickly these shepherds left their sheep to go and see what new wonder had occurred in Israel.
When they did, they found Mary in a cave that served as a stable by an inn. Beside her wrapped in clothes, lying in a manger, was the Christ child.
At Shepherd’s Field you will find the ruins of both Catholic
and Greek Orthodox churches commemorating this spot where the very heavens themselves announced the good news that the Messiah had come to Israel.
At Kanisat al-Ruwat in the middle of fields 2 km (a little over a mile) southeast of Bethlehem lies the ruins of a 4th century church. Six hundred meters (656 yards) to the north you will find the site identified by the Roman Catholic Church.
In either case it is easy to envisage the great joy that leapt in the hearts of these men as the heavens opened and were filled with angels praising God.
Finally after generations of waiting, the Messiah had come to the house of David.
The scepter had returned to Israel.
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