Saturday, December 24, 2005

of shepherds and sheep

Of Shepherds and Sheep

Abel spilled their blood
in the first acceptable sacrifice.

Abraham’s flocks flourished
though in the end
his son Isaac knew the terror
of lambs, lying bound on altar wood.

Joseph was sold to Egypt from the pasture
and the children of Israel
were segregated in Goshen
because shepherds were ‘unclean.’

Moses ran from the palace
to the mountains of Midian
where forty years as an apprentice
led to shepherding a nation.

David’s kingly character
was formed with the sheep
on Bethlehem’s hills,
for the Lord was his shepherd.

Isaiah foresaw Messiah-Lamb
and described us all
as confused and willful
wandering sheep.

Jesus would call Himself shepherd
and sheep-pen.
Even now He’s seated in heaven
a Lamb upon the throne.

What other audience was there, then,
for the angels that cold starry Judean night?

V. Nesdoly © 2005


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