Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

December 28, 2012

NOTES FROM THE JOURNEY: First responders and other shepherds

By JOHN PAUL CARTER

One of the most surprising features of “The Christmas Story” is that God chose to announce the birth of His Son to the “shepherds abiding in the fields” around Bethlehem.

You might think that He would have made such news known to the rulers or the priests or some well-known local saint. Nobody in all of Judea would have predicted that the angels would make their midnight appearance to the shepherds.

In Palestine sheep were the backbone of the economy – the main source of meat and fiber. Besides that, large numbers of lambs were needed for the daily sacrifices in the temple in Jerusalem. Because there weren’t any fences and predators were a constant threat, the many flocks required constant care.

Looking after sheep was a dirty, 24/7 job. Shepherds didn’t get to spend much time at home, weren’t regular worshippers in their synagogues, and were considered unclean for temple worship. So even though everyone depended on them to care for the sheep, they looked down on them – especially when it came to how they practiced their faith.

Ironically, it was specifically to these shepherds – often taken for granted by their neighbors – that God announced the birth of His Son: “Unto you (the shepherds) is born this day, in the city of David, a savior who is Christ the Lord!” Without hesitation, these faithful, hardworking servant-shepherds became the first-responders to the birth of Jesus.

At Christmas time – and every day – we need to follow God’s lead and gratefully honor the “shepherds” who make our lives so much better – all those people who work while we relax, play, sleep and worship. Our shepherds include our ministers, military personnel, law-enforcement officers, firemen, EMTs, doctors, nurses, teachers, therapists, postal workers, truck drivers, pilots, store clerks, waiters, technicians and countless others – all doing their jobs so that we can celebrate Christmas and live fuller lives. We owe them our deepest gratitude every day of the year!

Text Only
Viewpoints
  • PASTOR POPHIN: The joy of unity in church

    Do you enjoy going to church? I mean, do you really enjoy going to church? No matter how you answer, there are some common reasons — or perhaps we would call them conditions — that would cause all of us to truly enjoy going to church. 

    July 20, 2014

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Don't judge a book...

    Dear Editor: Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when state representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.

    July 20, 2014

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: The blessing of memories

    Many years ago, shortly after I retired from the navy, I was sitting around shooting the breeze with my brother David, when he remarked that he regretted never serving in the military and experiencing the things I had seen. Like most of our farmer ancestors, he spent his entire life within five miles of where he grew up. Not unlike our parents, he could also count on the fingers of one hand the number of times he had even been out of the state of Texas and probably have digits to spare.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0912 one bday wm j kelly 2013 mug.jpg KELLY: What do you think?

    Immigration: Wow! Where are all these illegal boys and girls coming from, and why? The “why” is a big question! I’m sure 5-year-olds are not coming for a better life and income. 

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • tiscione, lou.jpg TISCIONE: Signs and seals

    God gave the church signs and seals. These are called sacraments or holy ordinances. They are both holy and commanded. There are two sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ. They are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. These sacraments are often referred to as “secondary doctrine.” They are secondary not because they are unimportant. They are secondary because they are not necessary for salvation. 

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Response to 'Blame game'

    Dear Editor: It’s not drug cartels telling Central Americans their children won’t be turned away at the border, it is the actions of this administration with its refusal to secure the border and its unilateral rewriting of immigration law. As has been shown, this president and his administration have for some time lied about the security of the border and immigration enforcement.

    July 17, 2014

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Sick and tired

    Do you remember hearing Hillary Clinton screaming, “I am sick and tired of people who say if you debate or disagree with this administration somehow you are not patriotic. We should stand up and say, we are Americans and we have a right to disagree with any administration.” Nancy Pelosi said that the swamp needed to be drained and I agree, but I see she and Senator Reid are still splashing around in the slime.

    July 15, 2014

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: Paradise Lost

    During this past Fourth of July weekend, I did what I frequently do. I sat in my workshop enjoying a cool breeze, doing absolutely nothing except for trying to stay awake. As I looked to the south toward my shiny aluminum flagpole with Old Glory fluttering in that breeze, I did not feel the great patriotic sense of pride I normally have on this anniversary of the birth of our nation. Instead, I came very close to going out to the pole and lowering our national standard to half-mast to mourn the passing of our once great nation.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Our officials care

    I take serious exception to Mr. Jay Cloward’s letter, “Big city, no care” (7/8/14) in which he states that it almost looks like the city wants to become a for-profit company and Weatherford has “become a city too big to care.”

    July 13, 2014

  • PASTOR POPHIN: Joy in external conflict

    Do you get the sense that Christians today face increasing opposition from our government concerning our faith and practice? Such issues include: 1) Prayer in school and at other public gatherings are being banned and looked down on; 2) the removal of the 10 Commandments from courthouses throughout our country; and 3) the challenges to the words “one nation under God” appearing in our Pledge of Allegiance. Therefore, we are seeing increased conflict between churches and our government.

    July 13, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City