Yesterday we celebrated Good Shepherd Sunday in our church. The image of Jesus as the shepherd of a wayward flock has always been of great comfort to me. We used the 23rd Psalm as the focus of both of our mothers’ and fathers’ funerals as well as our wedding theme almost 52 years ago.
A shepherd is known to be with his sheep 24/7. They’ll leave the flock in search of one who has strayed. They defend their sheep against predators, often putting their own lives on the line. Sheep need guidance. Left to their own devices they will get into trouble almost every time.
The analogies go on and on, but the one that gives me the greatest peace of mind is that the shepherd will carry a sheep that has been injured closely to himself until the injury is healed – showing the animal that he is safe, cradled, loved, protected and totally reliant on his shepherd.
When we leave that protection we’re leaving ourselves wide open for disaster. Go to the Good Shepherd instead of running away from Him. He loves us all and wants us to be part of His flock. He has laid down His life for us, is available at any moment, cuddles and loves us with an unconditional love, and has made it His mission to save us from all danger.
Dear, Jesus, remind me every day of your unchanging love. You are my Good Shepherd. I know you will get me to my final destination unfettered, free from pain, alive again. Be with me today and all the days of my life. My reliance is on you alone. Amen.