Bringing the Text to Life
There is a new hit TV show on the quirky BBC (British Broadcasting Company). On Sunday evenings, bands of Britishers hover around their television sets to watch the ever-riveting "A Man and His Dog" _ live coverage of sheep dog trials! That's right _ everyone sits glued to the screen watching shepherds and their dogs skillfully herding sheep into pens. Only on the BBC!
Here in the United States, Christmas is the only time of year the shepherding profession really gets any attention. There are lots of shepherds in the Christmas story doing lots of shepherding-type things _ watching their flocks, standing out with them all night, stargazing. Tradition, though not Scripture, even suggests that the shepherds brought a lamb or two with them when they ran off to see the Christ-child. But we really don't get much of a picture of what shepherding was all about.
Born in a stable and raised in a rural community, Jesus himself used sheep and shepherding as images of ministry as he was teaching ...