By Sheldon Curry,
Managing Editor, Alfred Sacred Choral Publications

Bad Shepherds!

He climbs into the truck and we head home after children’s choir rehearsal. He pouts. He’s 4.

Advent and Christmas are coming and not only is there joy and anticipation in the air – there is tension. Today, his choir started rehearsals for the Christmas pageant and I know something is wrong.

I ask, “OK. What’s wrong?”

“Nothing …”

Two minutes later I hear him hiss under his breath, “Bad Shepherds.”

“How are the Shepherds bad?”

“They break the rule.”

“What rule do they break?”


“I don’t understand. Did someone bite someone in choir?”

“Ms. Jamison told them to.” (She’s the children’s choir director.)

“Ms. Jamison told someone to bite someone??”

“Yes. The Shepherds … but not ‘til Christmas.”

He has my undivided attention now, so I pull into a parking lot and stop the truck.

“Ms. Jamison told the Shepherds to bite someone during the Christmas pageant??? Who?”

“She didn’t say who exactly, she just said when they were supposed to do it. She said, ‘ Now shepherds, this is the time for you to be abiding in the fields’.”

Christmas is full of surprises. Choir rehearsals will have them. Services will have them. And you can be certain Christmas pageants will have them. God – the author of surprises –loves them all. Especially the shepherds biting in the fields.

I hope you have a joyous season. Use these new anthems to enrich worship as you prepare to be surprised by Joy.

And be sure and take a look at “Now and Then.”

Blessings to us all as we continue to serve –