We Were First!


Another old favourite that got another outing this year. This started out as part of New Irish Arts' "I Witness" show in the Waterfront, many years ago, but it has been delivered by a number of different "shepherds" in a variety of contexts since then, most recently at the Grosvenor Hall "Toy Service" at the culmination of their 2018 Christmas Gift Appeal last Sunday. Surprisingly I don't seem to have blogged it before... But even if I have, here it is again...

It was damn near freezing out on that hillside… What’s wrong!? My language a bit strong? Or is it the smell of the sheep… Ah, you’re all the same you holy joes… Aye, you’re glad of the wool from our sheep for your prayer shawls and our best lambs for your feasts, but us… we’re unclean… You may sing about God as your shepherd… but if one of your daughters wanted to marry one of us… You’d  have a hairy fit! Admit it! But just remember… God sent his angel to us… not you and your like…On the hills outside Bethlehem…Aye… Bethlehem… David’s city… Remember… David was a shepherd too! He told us “Don’t be afraid. I bring you good news full of great joy for all people.” For all… not just you self-righteous, religious so and so’s… And he said that the Messiah had been born that very day in Bethlehem… And that we would find him lying in a cattle trough… It made no sense… None of it… But then the sky exploded with light and sound as an army of angels arrived, singing “Glory to God” and “Peace on earth, to men on whom God looks favourably.” God looking favourably on us! I ask you!? I mean no-one else gives a tinkers cuss about us… But when things had all calmed down and the sky had returned to normal, we couldn’t get down into the town quick enough… And after checking out a few places we finally found them… A couple from up north with their baby… lying in the cattle trough… It was true! Apparently the whole city was so full they couldn’t find anywhere else… It was amazing… We couldn’t wait to tell everyone… Of course, they all thought we were drunk… To be expected… talking about angels and the messiah in a feeding trough… “Sitting by your campfires drinking hooch and eating funny mushrooms again.” Ah, to blazes with them… it didn’t matter to us… We were first…

Selah

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