Advent, Week Two (Peace): Shepherd

Sometimes, being an outcast has its advantages.

When you are cast out, you are alone. You might be lonely, yes, and you might be hurt by their rejection, or bitter, or even despairing. But also, you are quiet. You have time to think, and to look, and to wonder. And sometimes other outcasts join you, and you form a band, a family of sorts, and you know things others don’t. You know what it is to need something with a desperate ache. You know what it is to long for peace.

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You, the outcasts, are not allowed to do much. But you are allowed to watch. You get good at watching. By day you watch the world move past you, unnoticing, uncaring. By night you watch the sky: the million million stars pressing down and whirling in their paths, the wonder ever moving around you.

You are the ones watching when the sky is split by angels, the darkness lit up like day, the night ringing with music. How could the whole world not hear, not wake to see this? But only those who watch will be ready when He comes.

“Glory to God! Peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

That means you. Yes you, cowering there behind your sheep. Peace. His favor rests on you.

He has this way of choosing cast-out people. You see, He’s an outcast too, even now sleeping among the animals, just like you.

Go and see him, and find your voice. He’s a shepherd too, just like you, and he will be the one who watches over you. His love will make you brave, will give you words to tell the world.

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