Can You Picture It?

Can You Picture It?

“Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. ‘Don’t be afraid!’ he said. ‘I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior-yes, the Messiah, the Lord-has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David.”  Luke 2:9-11 (NLT)

Here’s what present day Bethlehem looks like from the City of David


I realize it looks different than it did in Jesus’ day but it still gives you a visual. Just a bit north and east of this is the Shepherd’s Field pictured below. If you look closely, you can see a little circle of sheep.


You can’t see it in this picture, but Jerusalem is just north of this and a bit east, in the distance about 7 miles away.

Can you picture it? The shepherds were there like any other day, and suddenly an angel of the Lord appears to them and tells them what they will find if they go to Bethlehem. Close your eyes, and truly picture it. First one angel, then the sky filling with the Heavenly Host singing “Glory to God in the Highest”. The radiance of the Lord surrounding the angels. It must have been an incredible sight!

The place that marks Jesus birth, is a short distance away, just under 1 mile. Today a church rests above the place where Jesus was born marked by the star in the picture below. The manger/animal feeding trough Jesus was put in, is just a few feet away and I am sitting next to it in the picture below.

IMG_1705         IMG_1707

Isaiah 40:10-11 spoke of God’s coming 700 years before Jesus was born. “Behold the Lord God will come with might, with His arm ruling for Him. Behold His reward is with Him and His recompense before Him. Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom.” (NASB)

Obviously it wasn’t a coincidence that God had the angel appear to the lowly shepherds to tell about the sign that would bring great joy. The image of God as our Shepherd, carrying us close to His bosom, as a mother would hold her baby, reiterates for us that God is our Comforter, our Protector, our Shepherd leading wherever He calls us to go. Like the shepherds of long ago, we need not be afraid, we need not worry. As Mary comforted her newborn baby, our King of Kings, God comforts us!

This Christmas, celebrate the birth, but more importantly, celebrate the LIFE that is Jesus Christ and the LIFE that He gave to us. From His very humble birth, to His very public death, His life mattered then and it matters today. Many come from far away, just as the magi did back then, to visit the place where Jesus was born, where He lived and where He died. His birth was real. Bethlehem and Jerusalem and all they represent in history are real. May these very real pictures help you to envision the very real Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us. Praise God!



Tina Dorward About Tina Dorward

Tina Dorward is a fully-devoted follower of Christ who loves spending time with her husband and two sons and volunteering at her local church. In her free time she reads, writes, paints and cooks.


  1. Loved your post, Tina. Thanks for reminding us how real and special Christ’s birth is!

  2. Thank you for the post and the photos, Tina! The birth of our Savior occurred so long ago that it is sometimes hard for us to fathom what it was really like for those who experienced it and what their daily life was like. It must have been absolutely astonishing to those who were there!

  3. Tina Dorward says:

    Thanks Patti!

  4. Tina Dorward says:

    Thanks Cynthia!

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