It was the Christmas season of 1997 when I began thinking about the story that would eventually become The Shepherds' Prayer. My wife and I had just returned from church. We were talking about how wonderful the story of Christ's birth was and what it meant to the world then and now.
For all the good that came of His birth and for all that generations have read and talked about it since then, there also was great sadness that resulted in Bethlehem when Herod ordered the killing of all the male babies. Not much has been written or is ever said about that traumatic event and how it must have impacted the people of Bethlehem and their attitudes about the poor Galilean child who was the target of Herod's wrath. And not much has been written about the shepherds who were the first to proclaim that this child was the promised Messiah. How might their lives have been affected by Herod's massacre?
I started thinking about those untold stories and, after researching them, found that they were inspiring stories that were begging to be told. And so I set out to try to tell them in a way that would lead the reader on his or her own journey to discover Christ and what it truly means to be a Christian.
We all need to be reminded in a deeper way why we celebrate this time of year. This Christmas season, I sincerely hope this story will help you to see the birth of Christ in a new and thought- provoking way. Consider reading it each year as a Christmas tradition in your home.
In Christ's Name,
Richard M. Barry