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The Good Shepherd

Sheep are idiots. I have this on good authority from an experienced sheep farmer. Apparently, if there’s a creature who is going to get itself stuck or injured, or manage to get itself killed somehow, it’s a sheep.

I actually owned three sheep once, a long time ago. I purchased them to keep the grass down in a paddock by my house. I spent hours chasing them around in often abandoned attempts to wash their backsides, or trying to find available shearers who were prepared to visit for just three sheep, or calling the vet to vaccinate them or heal some injury. During one particularly busy week, I returned home to find that one had given birth and another had broken its leg. Both of these events were completely unexpected.

As shepherds go, I was terrible, and whilst I loved watching them play in the paddock outside my window, I was only too glad to sell them to a local farmer.

This is a good metaphor for how good I am when I try to play shepherd to myself. It never goes well. Whenever I resist surrendering my self and my day over to God, desperately trying to remain in control, I experience life hurtling towards chaos all too quickly. 

I can relate to a sheep. I cast my mind to all the scrapes and injuries I’ve inflicted upon myself through sin and terrible decisions, and it’s fairly obvious that I, too, am an idiot.

Throughout all my most stupid failings, God has been there to pick up the pieces, whether I’ve been aware of it or not. He is my shepherd, guiding me, protecting me, delivering me to safety.

The Good Shepherd has his work cut out with sheep like me.

Today, we are reminded that with Jesus as our shepherd, we are in the best hands. We can trust that we are safe where ever we follow, as long as we are following him. 

Readings for today   Acts 2:14,36-41   Psalm 22   1Peter 2:20-25    John 10:1-10

Source: Fourth Sunday of Easter

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