Amos, Ben and Jessie are shepherds.  They
take care of sheep that are dirty and smelly.  
That makes Amos, Ben and Jessie smelly too.

Even though the sheep they take care of are
for temple sacrifices and meals of the
priests, even the priests don't much like to
be around the shepherds.

Actually, they're not very welcome in the
temple.  The religious people let them into the
outer courtyard of the temple, but that's all.

Once when they had their sheep out in the
hills for several weeks, they were in for the
surprise of their life.  They would never, ever
forget this surprise.

Suddenly an angel actually appeared in front
of them.  He was full of light, and he was
laughing in happiness.  "The Son of God has
just been born in Bethlehem!" he announced
proudly.

Then he was joined by so many other angels,
no one could even county them.  All of them
began singing "Glory to God in heaven, and
peace on earth!"  This baby was going to be
king of the world!

Finally the angels disappeared.  Full of
excitement, the shepherds put their sheep in
a cave for protection, then rushed back to
Bethlehem to see the new-born king of the
world.

Even though it was in the middle of the night,
they kept knocking on doors and waking people
up asking, "Where is the new-born king?"  No
one knew what they are talking about.

Finally they saw a light in a barn.  They went
to it and knocked.  Joseph answered and let
them in.  He woke Mary up so she could show
them baby Jesus.

They knelt in front of the baby and thanked
God for sending Jesus to the world to be king
of the world and save them all.  Then they
left.

As they headed toward the gate of the city,
they shouted trying to wake people up.  "Our
new king was just born!  Come, everyone!  We
know where he is!"

But no one believed these dirty, smelly
shepherds.  They just called out to them
from their houses to be quiet so they could
sleep.  

So the shepherds left Bethlehem happy
they'd seen Jesus, but sad that no one else
did.

              ***********
Do you know anyone you would like to invite to
go to church with you?  Or do you not go to
church, but have a friend who does?

Will you call your friend and ask him or her if
you could go to church together next time?  
God accepts everyone.  Even ordinary people.  
Or maybe he accepted everyone, especially
ordinary people.  
A CHILD'S LIFE OF JESUS

SHEPHERDS