Three French Hens & Two Turtledoves!

Sheep have always been my favorite animals. There was never any doubt on that score!  My siblings used to try to dissuade me from that stance by pointing out that they were killed and eaten and their wool used for sweaters.  This only served to convince me of the superiority of my favorite. The sheep was useful in every part, it wasn't just an unprofitable pet!
   Now, of course, as I grew older, I learned that not only were they practically useful, but they also hold a great use in not only illustrating Christ and His sacrifice but also in mirroring ourselves! 
  There really is a reason why Isaiah says that "We like sheep have gone astray", and Jeremiah compared Judah to flocks being turned aside on the mountains by false shepherds!   -  Sheep are exceedingly gullible; they will follow practically anyone who knows how to lead them. When left to themselves they will scatter, which is why they must be watched constantly.  Does that remind you of yourself yet?  -  But wait...there's more!   If one sheep starts running around, all the others will follow him, and do exactly what he does. If you were to hold a stick in front of the leader so as to make him leap over it, all the rest would leap when they reached that same spot even if you removed the stick!
  That is how stupid they are - and, by extent so are we!
So today, I want to share with you, two selections from Handel's Messiah, referring to sheep. These also happen to be some of my favorite selections!  -  Many people do not hear these parts all that often because they are not among the 'popular' sections of Messiah; but, I think they are just as beautiful and a reminder to us. That, though right now, we are celebrating the glory of the incarnation, we must not forget that He came so that we might no longer be sheep without a Shepherd and that He might be the perfect lamb to take the sins of the world!
   And just so you know, if you cannot make out the words, they are basically repeating Isaiah 53:4-6:
     "Surely He has born our griefs and carried our sorrows...and by his stripes we are healed...All we like sheep have gone astray."
  These are the last to parts of the entire piece; "Worthy is the Lamb," and "Amen" which are from Revelation 5: 12- 14!
  "saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing."  ...  "And the four living creatures kept saying, "Amen." And the elders fell down and worshiped."  

 Indeed, He is worthy! Let us all give Him our power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing this Christmas season.  Amen, and Amen!

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