Psalm 79:13 “So we, Your people and the sheep of Your pasture, Will give You thanks forever, We will show forth Your praise to all generations.”
Psalm 80:1 “Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock…stir up Your strength, And come and save us!”
Revelation 7:16, 17 “They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore, the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
The metaphor of sheep and the Good Shepherd is a distant, yet marvelous image to illustrate our relationship with God. I hear the Christmas song that says, “…while shepherds keep their watch at night, in fields where they lay, keeping their sheep
on a cold winter’s night…” I am touched by the thought that our Lord Jesus Christ is compared to a shepherd who lies with his flock, watching them, guarding them, and, yes, counting them. Even on a cold night. There He is.
I don’t know much about sheep, but I’m told they are kind of helpless, not too bright when it comes to danger, and prone to wander off, lost and easy targets for predators. I can relate. Alone, I sometimes get too involved in my own schemes and dreams and committed to all the preparations and obligations of my newly created responsibilities. I forget where God has pointed me or planted me. Instead of enjoying the community of disciples and the leadership of earthly shepherds, I’m heading off to seek answers elsewhere or stuck in some muck I’ve fallen into after a blind run. There I am.
Then, where is the Shepherd? Did He stay with His other sheep? Has He lost this one? It’s a funny thing about Scripture – God’s words written on every page of the Bible. Though the inked phrases look like print in any romance novel, history book, or technical manual, these God-inspired sentences speak sentient power that rivets my attention to Christ’s voice. I become aware of His Holy Presence, the Good Shepherd who has sought me once again, and who leads me back to the safety of His care.
There is comfort and rest under His watch, even on a cold night.
Oh, Lord Jesus Christ, we all need a Shepherd. We have each pushed against the boundaries You set and have wandered off in directions that take us far from You. We have been mangled by predators. Gather us and lead us back to Your house of prayer for healing, comfort, direction, and for Your namesake.