Advent 2018 – The Shepherds

This is the fifth in our Advent series of reflections, written by pioneering youth workers…

Using the following imagery, immerse yourself, using all your senses, into the hills outside Bethlehem and become a shepherd:

Move slowly through the sequence, taking time to ‘experience’ each step of the journey.

  • We are unclean – literally and spiritually. People move upwind as we approach.
  • We are the lowest of the low. Spending time with the sheep on Bethlehem’s hillsides, we are rarely in town, let alone the synagogue. Yet, El Shaddai honoured us – yes US – one night
  • It’s dark. We are cold to the marrow, despite the fire. Our heads are nodding. Sheep are baaing softly.
  • Bam! What a brilliant light! We can’t see! We’re scared witless. We hear a loud voice. ‘Don’t be afraid!’ Oh, right! The message is to find a baby! Then, there are voices praising El Shaddai! Just as suddenly, all is darkness and silence and peaceful.
  • The excitement is acute! We’re on the move. Without sheep. We’re running, walking swiftly when we’re breathless to avoid a stitch. Now, we’re slowing down. We’re in Bethlehem.
  • We’re searching. Finding, just as we’d been told. An inn. Out back. Country smells. Cows chewing. Donkey snoozing. A man. A woman. A new born baby. All looks ordinary. And yet, there’s an atmosphere we can’t quite put our fingers on… We explain why we’re there. The woman looks pensive. The man protective.
  • We leave the little family and return to our sheep, singing Psalms. What a night!


Take time to reflect on your journey.


By Sally Bailey


Join us this advent.

Frontier Youth Trust is a home for pioneer youth workers. As part of our shared rhythm of life we have invited pioneers from within our community to contribute a reflection about a character from the nativity story. We will be posting these reflections throughout advent.

We invite you to journey with us and discover the story afresh.