ON a mountain side in Romania I found a shepherd called Jon, wearing a sheepskin coat.
It was very cold, snow on the ground, but he sat there guarding the sheep, from attacks by wolves and bears, an outcast from society, but with a very important job to do.
Re-reading the Christmas story, Jon reminded me of the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks, by night.
In their story, angels came and told them of the birth of the baby Jesus, and despite also being classed as outcasts they set off straight away to see the baby and his parents in a stable at Bethlehem.
Many feel like outcasts in our society today, yet there is a welcome waiting you at any of the churches this Christmas.
Come and join with the folk who meet there to hear the Christmas story, and sing carols.
Perhaps afterwards share a mince pie and a warm drink.
Come to like the shepherds and worship the Lord Jesus Christ.
He too was an outcast, but people came to love him as their Saviour and Lord.
May we all find and extend love to one another not just at Christmas, but during the whole year.
Pastor Ross A Dean
Fleet & Sutton St James