Christmas: not just your ordinary shepherds and lambs

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Until recently, I had spent a lifetime not knowing that the Bethlehem shepherds were not just ordinary shepherds. And the lambs they raised were not just ordinary lambs. At least, the first-born males weren’t. For the hill country around Bethlehem was the breeding area of lambs for the Temple sacrifices. So there’s added resonance for David’s city as the birthplace of his greater descendant, plus striking significance that these shepherds were the first people to see The Lamb.


Which reminds me of a cartoon, by the great political cartoonist Papas, that appeared in UK’s Manchester Guardian paper circa 1960. Santa Claus is telling the Christmas story to a child, who asks, “But how did it end.” The un-noticed backdrop to the scene: the Cross.

May you and your family know a special touch of blessing and peace this Christmas.

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