GOD – Part 3
GOD as Good Shepherd
Sunday, January 20, 2019
John 10:1-16, Ezekiel 34:11-16
[The shepherd] calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. Whenever he has gathered all of his sheep, he goes before them and they follow him, because they know his voice.
Every one of us has most likely experienced a time or even a season in life where we felt hopelessly and utterly lost. I don’t mean that our GPS stopped working and we took a wrong turn. Rather, we have probably had that moment, likely more than once, when we paused just long enough to look at our life and wonder, “How did I get here?” or “Where am I going?” We might have even asked ourselves, “Where is here?” or “Where am I?”
These are existential questions about the meaning and purpose of life, about our journey and the path it has taken us on. Robert Frost wrote that we should consider taking the road less traveled rather than following the crowd, but there are times when we stop and say, “I took the road less traveled and now I don’t know where I am!”
If we’re not careful we find ourselves walking with Jesus and one day we look out from the mountaintop like Peter and John and say, “This is a nice place, let’s just pitch our tent and stay here.” Then Jesus wants to go back down to the valley and we think he’s crazy. Why would we want to go back down there.
It’s safe up here on the mountain. I have a comfortable pew. The light shines so beautifully through the stained glass. All my friends are here. And oh, by the way, did I mention it was safe?
The problem is that Jesus didn’t call us to “stay with him”. He said, “Come, follow me.” As our shepherd, he leads us beside still waters but he also leads us through the valley of the shadow of death. He cares for us in the safety of the sheep-pen but he also leads us out to pastures where we might just run into a few wolves.
Nobody ever said following the shepherd would be easy or safe. As C.S. Lewis puts it, “Of course he isn’t safe, but he’s good.”
In what ways are you feeling a bit lost or disoriented in your life right now?
Where do you sense the shepherd leading you this week?
What practical steps would you need to take in order to follow?
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Psalm 23:1)