There are lots of legends and stories surrounding the origins of the candy cane. One of those stories says that a choirmaster in 1670 gave sugar sticks to his young choir boys to keep them quiet during a lengthy church service. It is said that he shaped them to resemble a staff so as to remind them of the shepherds visiting the baby Jesus. It is more likely that candy sticks were straight at that time, but it is a nice story.
Today’s verse is a declaration of Jesus about who He is. It seems strange that He would identify Himself so closely with shepherds as they were considered lower class citizens on the fringe of society. Yet, “God does not show favoritism.” (Romans 2:11) and we are in desperate need of a Shepherd to meet all of our needs and to lead us! Not only does this Shepherd do all of this, but He is good. Everything He does is good whether it be keeping us from danger or correcting us with His rod and staff. But the biggest proof of His goodness and love is the laying down of His life for us, His sheep.
How appropriate then, that the angels announced Christ’s birth to those shepherds! They were the first to hear the news! They were the first to bow down and worship Jesus. And they were the first to spread that news, glorifying and praising God! (Luke 2:8-20)
And I have the same privilege! I may not be the first but I am just as privileged to know and love that Good good Shepherd. He has laid down HIs life for this silly sheep and I am forever grateful!
Thank you Lord, that You came for me!