Monday, December 15, 2014

Shepherds Approaching the Manger

I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, 
declares the Sovereign Lord” (Ezekiel 34:15).

The Lord, as our shepherd, is prevalent in Scripture. Old Testament passages share of shepherds tending their flocks. David was but a shepherd boy when anointed to be a future king in the line of lineage for the Messiah.
I have been pondering “shepherds” as we approach 
the celebration of the Incarnation. 

Christ’s first earthly bed was a manger among animals and Mary and Joseph in awe. How could such a humble birthing place and its surroundings hold the Messiah?
Those first told of His birth - yes - shepherds tending their flocks, were heralded right into Bethlehem and to the One who, himself, would grow to be the Shepherd to all.

Humble beginnings are not indicative of what is to come. 

Often we  find ourselves with feelings and questions for our Shepherd concerning some of the harsh and hard to understand events and their impact in our lives. They once had a birthing time but are not indicators of a life of lesser worth any more than Christ’s beginnings were.
They are not of lesser worth than the privilege given those shepherds of long ago who were the first in line to see the Glory of his coming. We have Him daily to give us strength and care.
What can we see this year as we come to the manger?  Jesus’ humbleness eventually led to another wooden place where he was not lain peacefully but nailed in agony. In between these two events, we come to know what he came to teach us as members of his flock.
We are saved by his grace and mercy. Tending to each of us with care is not only a joy for Him, but we, too, can come alongside others to see that each is tended to with his love - no matter how we feel or what we find impossible to understand.
 The first shepherds saw his Glory and we can too if we bow at the manger and let Him give us eyes to see and hearts to follow.


 Oh, Lord! 
May we ponder the spirit of Christmas in ways anew this year
 and find You there in splendor. Amen.

Mark Schultz - "When Love Was Born"

Saint James Cathedral - Seattle, Washington 

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