Shepherds feed, tend and guard sheep. Sheep live their animal lives mostly oblivious. Except for the stray one now and then who goes off on his own way, like the whole human race.
When we imagine the shepherds of the Christmas story, I think we mostly think of them as cleaner than they probably were. I think they were likely hungrier than we imagine, too.
And yet, to them the skies exploded with angels and song and surely unimaginable light. The Great Shepherd...born in a manger. Again, not as clean as we imagine, yet a place of regal birth.
Vikki's blue and white shepherd's robes reminds me of the costume I've put on for the Kindergarteners during several Bible stories. I slip it on over a coat and tie to make myself look a little more biblical. Sometimes I take off my shoes and socks and roll up my pant legs for authenticity. At least the beard is real.
The garb of today's shepherds are quite ordinary. They dress like farmers, which I suppose they are--ranchers of sorts. They have pickup trucks and probably listen to country music. They look different, but I'll bet they still rescue the wayward lamb who's gone off too near the cliff or fox.
Something we so easily forget--the lost lamb that's all of us, the Great Shepherd who dared to dirty himself and learn to eat and drink and talk and walk. . . eventually to the cross and death . . . to rescue the lost lamb that's all of us.