The Seeing Shepherds
by Daniel Bonnell
In Luke 2:8–20 we read of the shepherds who came face to face with an angel who proclaimed, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Then we read that a great company of angels appeared, praising God and singing. God always does things upside down, backwards to the front and reverse to forward. The angels appear to the humble blue-collar workers, the shepherds. Jesus is not born in a fancy birthing center but a smelly cave dwelling, in an animal stall. Mary’s baby shower was quite different as well: three strangers with gifts that were anything but a month’s supply of diapers.
In The Seeing Shepherd, the night sky is filled with color that is unknown to the human eye. What color is made when a host of angels beat their wings? What does a host of angels even begin to look like? The angels proceed directly from the point of the humble shepherds to surround the manger many miles away. The English painter J.M. William Turner would swoon viewers with a myriad of color. In the same manner, I hope to rapture my viewers into the painting as if they were one of the Seeing Shepherds standing among their herd of sheep.
From Songs in Waiting: Spiritual Reflections on Christ's Birth by Paul-Gordon Chandler. Copyright © 2009 by Paul-Gordon Chandler. Used with permission from Morehouse Publishing, an imprint of Church Publishing Inc.
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