I’ve had a few up-close experiences with sheep in my life. The most recent was Christmas Eve just a few weeks ago. Our church secured a 4 month old lamb to participate in our Eve services, the theme of which centered around God’s choice to announce Christ’s birth first to shepherds, of all people.
My friend and colleague Steve was set to do a “Shepherd’s monologue,” and then bring in the lamb while I continued the message. Besides bringing home the realism of shepherds as part of the Christmas story, there was admittedly an element of sheer practicality as we wanted to grab and keep the attention of the many young children in the audience with their parents.
When Steve and I went to meet the lamb a few days before Christmas Eve, I was immediately reminded of some of the characteristics of sheep that make me a little sheepish (no pun intended) that God compares His people to sheep in passages like
Know that the Lord , he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. -Psalms 100:3
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way… -Isaiah 53:6
To be compared to sheep is not really a compliment, given that sheep tend to be:
- Easily startled
- Seemingly clueless about which way to go without guidance
- And, in general, not the sharpest knives in the drawer
Quite honestly, I don’t like being any of those things. I want to be competent, confident, and be more like a shepherd who cares for others, than a sheep that needs someone to care for me. Continue reading “My Life as a Sheep”