Annoyingly, when ‘we in the West’ think of shepherds, the first things that enter our minds are tea-towels wrapped around heads, and stuffed toy sheep being dragged by pieces of string by gormless 5 year old boys staring into space as they meander across their school stage. Sure, it’s a cute picture, and for me there’s not much funnier than watching pre-schoolers in school nativities (moments comedy gold & oscar worthy performances, trust me).
To be a shepherd was also considered hugely dangerous. Amidst the protecting of sheep, it was not unusual for a shepherd to have to fight off animals in order that the sheep would not be harmed. A shepherd would need to be courageous, strong and always alert. They would do anything for their flock.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I read certain passages, verse, chapters of the Bible, I can get used to them, and become familiar with them. When we do this, sometimes we can mentally ‘numb-down’ the power of what we have read.
If you have an image of a teatowel clad boy as a Shepherd, then change that image. God is your courageous, strong, alert protector, who will do ANYTHING for you. And ultimately, he has done EVERYTHING for you.