The Characters of Christmas #3: The Shepherds As the frantic pace of the Christmas rush escalates, let’s take a moment today to stop and consider some more characters from the Christmas story. Many school nativity plays will have taken place this week, each with several young, bearded shepherds taking to the stage adorned in head cloths improvised from tea towels taken from the kitchen drawer at home. Often seen holding a cute, cuddly sheep, these young actors don’t give us a true picture of life as a shepherd in bible times. In Palestine, few jobs were seen as lower or more humble than that of looking after animals. Shepherds were often treated with the same contempt as tax collectors and were among the poorest in society, yet they were privileged to be among the first to hear of the birth of the Saviour. It was probably just another dull, uneventful night on the hillside outside Bethlehem that night, as the shepherds watched their flocks. That was until the angel appeared; then everything changed. Upon hearing the wonderful news, they went into the town to see the Child lying in the manger and returned, filled with praise for all they had seen and heard. Some of our AsiaLink partners are reaching into remote areas where the main livelihood for many people is looking after animals. It could be sheep grazing on the Mongolian steppe, goats wandering the foothills of the Himalayas or water buffalo wallowing in the swamps of India. Many of these shepherds and herdsmen live a nomadic lifestyle moving around from place to place, leading their flocks and herds to fresh pasture. Please join us today in praying for nomads living in remote parts of Asia. Pray that the message of the gospel would reach them and that they would find grace and forgiveness in Jesus, the Good Shepherd. You can sign up to receive the Christmas devotions by email straight to your inbox. Sign up here! --- To celebrate God's faithfulness throughout our 20 years of ministry in Asia, our goal this Christmas is to provide 20,000 copies of His Word to a people group in Myanmar, that they might know Him and receive eternal life! Find out more!