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Christmas Shepherd

I wrote a little Christmas poem to put it in perspective. It seems around this time of year a lot go apoplective With all the ads and football games to shimmer and obfuscate And count the days we’ve left to shop before it’s gotten too late!

I don’t begrudge the merchant class enticing us and teasin’. Or entertaining specials to remind us of the season When families gather to renew their lives with love professing, And recognize the birth of Christ as mankind’s greatest blessing.

We each can count those private times amidst the frantic whirring For me it comes on Christmas morn, before the house is stirring. I slip myself out to the barn to feed the cows and collie The horses, too, and break the ice, beyond the boughs of holly.

I do the chores, like every day. That’s part of country livin’. It is the shepherd’s greatest gift, the privilege we are given To tend the flock, on constant watch, as keepers we’re made liable And charged with the dominion of, according to the Bible.

And so we do our duty first before the celebration Like other occupations who stand guard and serve the nation; The ones who make the coffee at the homeless mission hall, Policemen, nurses, E M T’s, the linemen, all on call.

‘Cause they are their brother’s keeper as directed from above As are farmers with our animals, as well as those we love. Is it just some basic instinct, or is caring something learned? Where does the need to give beyond primordial concern

Begin? To help without coercion, no promise of reward, My friend, the answer is simple, it’s by example, from the Lord. When you get that funny feeling that somebody’s watching you Yer right, watching over you. See, Jesus is a shepherd too.

Baxter Black is a cowboy, poet, humorist, and former large animal veterinarian based in

Benson, Arizona –

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