One of the images of Jesus that appears throughout the New Testament is the Good Shepherd. This is such a tender image of God’s care for our lives. I haven’t spent a great deal of time with sheep, but I know they need someone to care for them. Left on their own, sheep will wander, get lost, become victims of predators or thieves. The shepherd is a powerful and ancient symbol of God in the Bible. God watches over Israel as only a good shepherd can do. The shepherd does some essential things for a flock: provides protection, and leads them to the right pastures for food and water. A shepherd has the best interests of the sheep at heart.
I know that we experience God’s care in many different ways. Maybe you are longing for God’s care in your own life for a problem, a place where life or relationships are a struggle, or where the future is looking bleak. From my experience, we need God’s care daily. At our Pastor’s Bible Study this week, we were reflecting on the ways that God has helped and cared for us. That is a helpful spiritual practice. Think back on the times when God delivered you, sent the right help or the right person. Let the memory of those times remind your faith that what God has done before, God will certainly do again.
This Sunday, we gather to know God’s care and then we will be sent out to share that love with a world that is aching for the love and help that only God can give.
Rev. Dr. Dave Summers