The birth of Jesus with shepherds.

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Title:The birth of Jesus with shepherds
Notes:JESUS MAFA is a response to the New Testament readings from the Lectionary by a Christian community in Cameroon, Africa. Each of the readings was selected and adapted to dramatic interpretation by the community members. Photographs of their interpretations were made, and these were then transcribed to paintings.

A small fire illuminates the shelter with a warm and comforting glow. Mary sits with a beautiful smile as she holds a wiggling baby Jesus for the shepherds to see. Joseph stands watch over his small but important family. The shepherds’ faces show a mixture of curiosity and joy at this miraculous newborn. In the background are bright and shining stars dotting the sky, reminding us of the praise the angels sang for the shepherds to hear: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”


Scripture:Luke 2:(1-7), 8-20
Luke 2:1-14, (15-20)
Lectionary links:ANatv
General Subject:Adoration of the Shepherds
Culture: African
Culture: Black
Library of Congress Subject:Christian art and symbolism -- Cameroon

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Copyright Permission:For non-commercial uses, include with the image the Attribution statement below. Variations of the statement are fine as long as the elements in the Attribution statement are included. For other uses contact Éditions de l’Emmanuel,
Attribution:JESUS MAFA. The birth of Jesus with shepherds, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved June 23, 2024]. Original source: (contact page:
Record Number:48387 Last Updated: 2022-04-28 14:27:17 Record Created: 2006-12-21 00:00:00
Institution:Vanderbilt University Collection: Art in the Christian Tradition