The life of a Shepherd was not an easy one. Men and boys would walk for miles each day in search of grass for their flocks to feed upon. They would walk behind their herd as they drove them forward with their staff in hand, guiding them and keeping them in a group.
The dust must have been unbearable to breath in the hot desert sun. As they covered their faces and their eyes with their scarves, the smell must have been pretty pungent as the animals soiled the ground at the shepherd's feet. Sweat mixed with feces and dirt must have caked their bare feet and legs as they pressed the herd to their desired destination. Exhausted and hungry, the shepherds would sit near a fire as dusk settled into darkness. No shepherd's pie for these sheep herders but a bite of bread, a sip of wine, and a tree to lean their tired muscles against.
Homeless they would wonder from town to town selling their sheep to the highest bidder. There was no need for a shepherd to be a knowledgable man as he learned his trade from his father, who learned it from his father, and so on. Each generation following in the footsteps of the generation before content to live a life easily defined. They had little and needed even less as the shepherd's life was a simple life.
Until that night...
The evening had come and the sheep were settling in for the night. The quiet murmuring and an occasional bark from a sheep dog were the only sounds for miles. A branch tossed onto the fire makes cracking and snapping noises as it is engulfed by the flames. Then suddenly the night sky brightness as a flash of light shines down on the shepherds. Are they dreaming? What can it be? Then a voice rings out and an Angel appears. The shepherds are terrified and the Angel says,
“Do not be afraid! For behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: 11Today in the City of David a Savior has been born to you.
He is Christ the Lord!"
Luke 2:10-11 (BSB)