Saturday, 31 January 2015

Wondering Thoughts by Susan L.

  I came across the story I wrote just before Christmas for writer's group. It's the one where the shepherd speaks about his life with the sheep and the events of Christmas eve. The angel told them to go and share all what they had seen and heard.
  I don't think shepherds were held in very high esteem as far as employment status goes.  It is such a humble way to make a living. Perhaps shepherds were regarded with the same sneering distain we often treat farmers with today. Having walked that path as an amateur I tell you it takes dedication and wisdom to eke a living from the land.
  That's most likely why Jesus called Himself a Shepherd for God's people. It is a place of humility yet filled with tender care and compassion towards a human flock.
  Reading the story again has me wondering who the shepherds shared the good news with? Were they laughed at...or mocked? Were they believed? The scriptures don't say if they were Jews or Gentiles but it might be a safe bet to assume they are Jews because they knew about God and angels. Or if they were Gentiles, they had knowledge of the Jewish faith and their beliefs, perhaps gleaned in their travels. The Bible doesn't say very much about that. This is merely guessing.
  It's hard to say how I'd react to a lowly shepherd sharing the Good News of a Saviour born for all mankind. Would he be scruffy and dirty? Did he smell like sheep? His clothing might be threadbare, his sandals worn from travelling. Would that have led me to disregard his words because of what he looked like?
  Unless the Lord opened my heart and enabled me to see beyond the physical appearance of the bearer of Truth, I would probably not spend two minutes listening to the shepherd. I would turn my back in disgust at his open and honest sharing of all he had seen. Simply because of who was saying it.
  It is what it is. Forgive me Lord for my snobbery, my prejudices, my ignorance. Forgive me Lord for my own lack of humility. Forgive me for not sharing the Good News because of my own fear of being rejected or marginalized. Thank You, Lord, for Your grace and forgiveness. Help me be bold as a shepherd. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
  "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbour, and none his brother, saying, "Know the Lord," for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them." Heb 8:10-11

2 comments:

  1. So true about the shepherds - they were indeed despised by their own people. They, mostly because they were at the bottom of the social order, did not participate in the festival, or the ritual washing. They smelt, were rough and course men. Yet, fields outside Bethlehem were where the sheep that were used for the Passover were raised. The priest would walk back with the "perfect" lamb and enter the gates of Jerusalem with the lamb on his shoulders. The lamb would be outside the temple where the people could see it before it was sacrificed. Much ado would be made, but little towards the men who got the lamb to it's "perfection". It was to such men as these that the herald was given. No doubt this good news, which the Jews had been waiting for since Genesis, spread like wildfire. Although I like you might not have believed them. I would probably thought they were drunk. I am and will be eternally thankful that the Holy Spirit opened my heart to receive the truth. And I can say for certainty that the Lord is my Shepherd.

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