Yesteday, I shared my remove of a lovely Christmas story called Little Shepherd. Today, I am happy to share the follow post from the book’s author, Cheryl C. Makandrinos.
Old Stories Told in New Ways by Cheryl C. Malandrinos
As a Sunday school teacher, I’m always looking for new ways to share Biblical concepts with my students. In Dixie Phillips’ award-winning book, Stubby’s Destiny, Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem is retold (John 12: 12-19). The story revolves around a defeated donkey who believes he’ll never discover his destiny, but is then suddenly chosen to carry an all important visitor into the city.
The advantage of focusing on a character outside of such an historical event is that it simplifies the message and allows young people to enjoy a Biblical story in a new way. Not only that, children can relate to the emotions that Stubby experiences.
When I sat down to write Little Shepherd, God had already placed the idea on my heart many years ago. It is a retelling of the Christmas story through the eyes of a young shepherd in the hills outside of Bethlehem. The angel appears and announces the Savior’s birth, but our young shepherd, Obed, has just been entrusted with his first flock and is afraid to leave them unattended. After some encouragement from his father, Obed joins the others to visit the newborn King. That doesn’t mean, however, that Obed’s anxiety has gone away.
Obed relates to the father who stands guard over the mother and child in the manger, just as he guards his sheep. He is touched by the gentle smile of the mother, and how the baby doesn’t seem to mind laying in a box used to feed animals. He is in awe that the shepherds are so busy praising God they aren’t eager to return to the fields to check on their sheep, even though hungry wolves have been howling. And once Obed returns to the pasture where he left his flock, more miracles await him.
Yes, Little Shepherd, is a story of the first Christmas; but it is also the story of a little shepherd boy who stepped out in faith and is witness to one of the greatest miracles ever known to man. By focusing on Obed, young people are invited in a personal way to experience the birth of the Savior. They can understand and appreciate how Obed felt, and that makes the miracle of Christmas all that more meaningful to them.
Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. A regular contributor for Writer2Writer, her articles focus on increasing productivity through time management and organization. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is also Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.
Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. Little Shepherd is her first children’s book. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two young daughters. She also has a son who is married.