We are so conditioned as Christians to hear the word Shepherd and think of the Good Shepherd, one who has laid down his life for his sheep.
But in the story of Christmas, where Shepherds are intercepted by a mighty host of angels, we tend to forget the historicity of it all.
Shepherds were not the wonderful contemplative heroes we might imagine, musical like David and just as courageous.
No not at all.
The image of the shepherd was one who was very much not part of the in-group;
..a strange figure…
…who over time was thought to be at his best when he was away from everyone who mattered.
And so the calling of the angel to Shepherds;
…those who had made their lives in the fields and plains away from the concerns of normal people…
…well this was something to write home about.
Christmas, and this season of Advent which we are now in, will bring in the most unlikely of characters.
People we have written off as hopeless and far from any sense of the religious.
But there is no helping it.
If we let this season boom with the joy of the angelic host…
…and we do what we have been called to do since the Gospel was first announced…
…if we live out the message that each and every soul has the one Saviour who has left everything to be incarnationally present…
…yes, the shepherds of our time will approach Him too.
Stay focused on Jesus, I’ll see you tomorrow.
in Christ, patrick