Saturday, December 18, 2010

our shepherd.

In your opinion, what would the ultimate winter wonderland look like?
            There would be lots of Christmas trees, covered with twinkling lights and snow, with the scent of a bonfire in the air.

            Jesus said that He came to be our Shepherd (John 10:11). In Israel, 2,000 years ago, that phrase probably didn’t need very much explanation, because most people would have known someone who was a shepherd. They would have known what shepherds did. But not very many of us have met shepherds or been around flocks of sheep to understand what that means. So what does a shepherd do for his sheep that Jesus wants to do for us?
            The Bible gives us a good idea of what shepherds do in the 23rd Psalm. It was written by David, who was also a shepherd. And David writes that shepherds do eight things:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. (The Shepherd provides for all the need of the sheep.)
            He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. (He gives them safety and rest.)
            He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. (He leads the sheep.)
            Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff (He protects the sheep), they comfort me. (The Shepherd comforts the sheep when they are afraid.)
            You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies (He feeds the sheep, even in difficult situations); You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. (The Shepherd pours oil on the sheep so their wounds can be healed.)
            Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (The Shepherd promises that the sheep will always be with Him.)
            So Jesus, in saying that He wants to be our Shepherd, is telling us that He wants to do those things for us! How? He promises to provide everything we need. He feeds us when we read our Bibles. He comforts us when we’re afraid and gives us peace by making His presence real to us. He helps us know where we’re supposed to go and what we’re supposed to do with our lived. He protects us. He heals us when we’re sick in our bodies or hurt in our hearts. And he promises that He will live with us and never leaves us alone.
            Isn’t it great to have Someone to do all of those things for you?
            -The 25 Days of Christmas by Rebecca Hayford Bauer

My dear twin graduated from college yesterday! I'm so proud!

1 comment:

  1. My father raised sheep throughout my childhood, so I know a bit about being a shepherd. My mother, by default, dealt compassionately with the little lambs who were sometimes born too early in the late winter, frozen and stiff with the cold. My father would bring them in from the fields, cold and seemingly dead. My mother would put them on a cloth in the (very low) oven and rub a tiny bit of my father's best brandy on their icy gums. They would almost always revive! Then , in the morning , we would come downstairs for breakfast and hear the soft, muted thumpings of the lamb's tiny hooves against the big, cardboard box he was in, baaaaaing in a high pitched voice for milk~ Such joyous sounds! New life in the cold darkness~ that's what it's all about. Rejoice!