The Cartoon Truth

Don’t you love the Mike Water’s “Joyful ‘toon” cartoon Greg Offenback came across this week? Talk about one sophisticated sheep! Look at him (or is it, her). Catching some rays on his outdoor recliner and reading the latest “Sheep Digest” magazine—Mr. Cool sunglasses on, iPod and headphones blaring away, ditto for the TV in front of him, double ditto for his radio beside his chair, a stack of books on the ground (the Bible at the bottom)—in the distance his shepherd calling him—and what’s the sheep’s quip: “I wonder why I don’t hear from the shepherd anymore!” You go, Mr Sheep and Greg and all of us! Talking about a “perfect” follow-up to last Sabbath’s Good Shepherd teaching (“The Last Word: Of Sheep and Shepherds and the Midnight Star”—videocast at this web site: www.pmchurch.tv). “‘My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). What’s that have to do with Christmas? Simply this—in the cacophony of the holiday’s frenetic bustle, may we (you and I) resolutely carve into every day a quiet space of time where alone with the Good Shepherd we hear His voice. Why? The English writer J. B. Phillips once answered: “That is why, behind all our fun and games at Christmastime, we should not try to escape a sense of awe, almost a sense of fright, at what God has done. . . . Nothing can alter the fact that we live on a visited planet. We shall be celebrating no beautiful myth, no lovely piece of traditional folklore, but a solemn fact. God has been here once historically, but, as millions will testify, he will come again with the same silence and the same devastating humility into any human heart ready to receive him” (quoted in Watch for the Light 24). That is why.

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