25 NAMES OF CHRISTMAS – GOOD SHEPHERD

How sweet is the shepherd’s sweet lot!
From the morn to the evening he strays;
He shall follow his sheep all the day,
And his tongue shall be filled with praise.

For he hears the lambs’ innocent call,images (1)
And he hears the ewes’ tender reply;
He is watchful while they are in peace,
For they know when their shepherd is nigh.
~William Blake…1789

“For they know the shepherd is nigh.”

I like that line – a lot.

Been fighting an ear cold all week, so I made clam chowder. Love comfort food when fighting those low grade fevers and pains. Decorations are still scattered around the floor and tables. Lights are still in tangled heaps. The bright spot, however, is the front porch is decorated for Christmas. Is that enough? Can I quit now?

The Christ-mass spirit has been slow to fill our house this year. I know part of it is that I really don’t want to un-pack boxes when I have a thousand and one boxes that will need to be packed and ready to go by January 18th. Oh – I am soooooo basically lazy at heart.

On top of all that, I have been homesick. There is something about Christmas that makes you long for age old traditions of shopping in local places that you have loved since childhood – traditions of food…hmmm….Troyers Trail bologna and Correll’s chips- traditions of family and friends…caroling with the church – hanging of the greens – Secret Santas…..

The great news in this day and age, Troyer’s bologna was delivered earlier this week. My family is coming in for Christmas (as long as there is no major snowstorm between here and AZ and MI). And eventually – I will get the greens hung inside the house…maybe…kind of… Then – like an answer to an unspoken prayer, I got a letter from a friend that has kept me smiling all day.

“As for you, My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, you are men, and I am your God,” declares the Lord GOD.” ~Ez 34:31

The Shepherd always seems to be on guard – noticing when I need a little blessing – noticing when it is time to change pastures (don’t like this one very much) – noticing the wolves are near – noticing things when I don’t. After all, that is what shepherds do.

As Christmas draws closer, I am thankful that the Good Shepherd still searches for me when I am lost (which is quite often) and tenderly pushes me forward when I really want to just laze around and be a lazy, fat little sheep.

“I am the good shepherd.”~ Jn 10:11a


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