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11. The Shepherds’ Surprise at Holy Heralds

Here’s an artistic nativity portrayal that carries a clear question – at least, for me it does. The Bethlehem shepherds huddle in shock, staring upwards. If one looks closely, what may appear at first glance to be clouds are actually angelic beings overhead.

What’s my question?

Why are the shepherds so alarmed by all of the holy commotion, but the sheep continue to sleep?

Maybe the sheep trust their shepherds to guard them. (There’s a spiritual allegory!)

Perhaps the sheep are not burdened with doubts and fears, as humans tend to be. You know how we try to analyze and overanalyze messages of faith? (OK, another spiritual allegory.)

Either way, this sketch is striking to me. I pray God gives me the insight to recognize His messengers whenever and however He sends them.

On the Morning of Christ's Nativity, by Walter Crane, early 1900s

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