I’ve seen a lot of shepherds this week. The oldest one was 7. They all had tea towels on their heads and cute grins. Some of them sucked their thumbs, and some of them waved at their mummies. They sang cheerful songs with actions. Some carried soft toy sheep, others herded younger children in fluffy costumes.
And that’s the image we tend to have of the shepherds: the cutsie, fluffy nativity play picture. But that’s not what Stephen Cottrell’s shepherds are like.
They’re working men, a bit bored, messing around, making rude jokes. It’s not picture-perfect. But these are the people God chooses to call. This is the scene God breaks in on. As so often, God turns up where, and with whom, we least expect.