I encountered this kid goat in the mountains above Thermopylae. The mother goat ran away but the kid had not yet found his legs. All it could do was bleat helplessly. The shepherd soon appeared, ambling up the road, carrying a wooden staff in his hand, and scooped the little goat up in his arms. It was a very nice picture of the good shepherd.
He shall feed His flock like a shepherd; and He shall gather the lambs
with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are
with young. ~ Isaiah 40: 11
Come unto Him, all ye that labour, come unto Him that are heavy laden, and
He will give you rest. Take His yoke upon you, and learn of Him, for He
is meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. ~ Matthew 11: 28-29
These two passages appear towards the beginning of Handel’s Messiah. They are followed by passages that speak of the coming Judgement. I was struck, in particular, by this passage from Malachi.
But who may abide the day of His coming, and who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner’s fire. ~ Malachi 3:2
The good shepherd and the refiner’s fire… comfort and fear… may we keep both in mind this Christmas season.