Jeremiah 23:1-16; Psalms 23:1-6; Ephesians 2:13-18; Mark 6:30-34
Some years ago a news reporter interviewed a a 55-year-old shepherd who had spent his life following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather — leading his sheep through the rocky West Bank hills around Bethlehem, in search of scarce grass. Yes, there still are shepherds in Bethlehem after all these thousands of years. King David herded sheep there in his youth. But the number of shepherds and sheep are dwindling. “This job has no future” the shepherd lamented. Pointing to the rolling countryside there around Bethlehem, he said “For two months in the spring it’s beautiful. It’s green and you have nice views.” But the shepherd’s life is a hard one, with little return for long days that start before dawn.
The reporter described the shepherd as tanned and wrinkled from years in the harsh Middle Eastern sun, with two gold teeth glittering as he laughed, wearing the traditional white keffiyah (shepherds robe). In good years he makes about $3000 from his door-to-door…