Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Goat and the Ox

Day 12 - Goat and Ox
Goats were central to the rural economy of bible times.  Their milk and flesh were food staples, their hair was woven into fabrics, and their skin was made into clothing, water and wine bottles.

The oxen, were the mainstay of biblical farming.  They were what the tractor replaced.  Submissive to authority, the ox is obedient to the word of command and the goad.  There is no malice between oxen, only the contest of strength.  The stronger ones won't pursue the weaker ones.  They are mild and gentle and innocent in a rough way.  Oxen are affectionate of one another and tend to graze together even in a large pastured area.

Oxen are large and strong and able to slowly carry heavy loads.  In rough plowing, they have more endurance than a horse.  The ox will pull again and again when goaded, the hundredth time as patiently as the first time.  They are persistent and pull together.      

These two calm creatures are chosen to be part of the audience.  Their innocence and significance to the biblical era adds a sense of peaceful strength to my nativity.  The goat and ox go inside the stable, back of the manger.

Listen closely.  Can you hear the rustle and restlessness of the animals as the time nears?