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Story Behind the Art:

The stable of Christ’s birth was not the barn-like structure so often depicted, but more likely a natural cave in the rocky fields outside Bethlehem. Though this most historic birth went unheeded by a world that would later mark the event as the “meridian of time,” the event and the setting were certainly the center of attention for heaven’s hosts, represented here by the sign of the dove. A hen gathers her chicks, even as Christ “with healing in His wings” will later gather the children of Israel (Matthew 23:37). Just as the nearby fields provided lambs for the temple sacrifices of Jerusalem, this Lamb is destined to offer Himself “a sacrifice for sin” in the ultimate Passover to come. Greeting the dawn of a new day, the crowing cock proclaims the coming of the “Sun of righteousness” (Malachi 4:2). Near Mary are bread and drink, emblems of the Bread of Life, who comes out of Bethlehem (which means “house of bread”) and of the well of Living Water, born in the womb of a rock. - Joseph Brickey

 

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