The Shepherd's Wife

I haven't been blogging much this year, but here is a wee Christmas present... some of you preparing stuff at the last minute might even find it useful. I wrote it for our Service of Lessons and Carols on Sunday, and it seemed to go down quite well...

There are times when I wouldn’t believe one word that came out of that man’s mouth. My mother warned me. She said “Never marry a shepherd!” she said. “Never marry a shepherd! They spent too much time away from home. Roaming the hillsides… Sun beating down on their heads in the daytime. Drinking home-made hooch in the nightime to stay warm… Addles their minds!” She said “Addles their minds…”
And on face value my man’s ramblings this morning when he came in suggested that his mind WAS addled. He couldn’t get his words out fast enough… All I heard was “bright light, angels, good news, singing, Messiah, manger…” None of it made sense… even when I got him to take a breath and slow down…
He started again and told me that an angel had visited him and his mates up in the hills last night… I mean to say… an angel visiting that lot!? Must have taken a wrong turn somewhere. But he insisted that they had seen an angel and that this angel had told them to go down into Bethlehem and find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in an animal’s feeding trough… and that this would be the Messiah that has been expected for centuries… And then an angel choir appeared, singing “Glory to God in highest heaven and peace to all people on earth!”
Total and utter sheep fodder. Why on earth would the Messiah be lying in a feeding trough? Doesn’t bode well for things to come if God couldn’t arrange a better place for his chosen one to be born than a stable…
But my half-wit of a husband was adamant that this “angel” was right… that they left the sheep on the hillside and went down to Bethlehem and there WAS a baby lying in a feeding trough… Mind you, with this Roman census there are people everywhere… But the messiah? No way! I said that it was probably all part of a con trick to get them off the hill so some sheep rustlers can take away their sheep…
But he said no… that after they had seen the baby they went back up to the mountain to check that all was in order, and it was,,, the sheep hadn’t moved an inch…
I don’t know… He really seemed to believe this nonsense. I suppose I had better check that baby in the feeding trough story for myself… But if he is pulling my leg, I swear, he could end up sleeping in a feeding trough himself… What was it that angel choir sang? “Peace to all people on earth!” I’ll give him peace! A piece of my mind is what I’ll give him…

Shalom

ps. The artistically minded will note that the image is "The Farmer's Wife" by Joan Miro, but I couldn't find a suitable "Shepherd's Wife" image...

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