I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
He’s called a shepherd. My Jesus is a shepherd. I want to take some time to let this make a good impact on me. I want to think about his care, his attention, his persevering love, his looking for me when I am lost, his patient exertion, the hardships he undergoes to make all things well for me, his clear guidance and his soft but yet powerful voice.
He’s called a shepherd. And I imagine the sheepfold where all is safe. A place of protection, a place to come to myself, a place where together with the other sheep I experience that he knows me.
He’s called a shepherd. And I drink in the words he speaks to me and to all the other sheep who are not embarrassed to be one of his sheep.
When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
He’s called a shepherd and a shepherd he is. And I see the image the prophet Isaiah creates:
He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.
And that psalm, perhaps the most well known psalm that has offered so many people so much comfort and support, begins to resound in my ears:
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
Psalm 23:1, 4, 6
Jesus, you are my shepherd. When I think about your love and care, your guidance and protection, then my heart is filled with a profound sense of gratitude that I even experience when I am in a deep, dark valley. Jesus, my shepherd, I want to worship you and I want to follow you. Yes, I want to listen to your quiet and powerful voice.