"I AM the Good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-" ~John 10:14This passage from John offers a picture of the Good Shepherd of the flock. It is one of seven "I am" sayings in the gospel of John, monologues in which Jesus reveals his identity to his followers. The other six are Bread of Life (6:35), Light of the world (8:12), Gate (10:9), Resurrection and Life (11:25), Way, Truth and Life (14:6), and True Vine (15:1). They cover the spectrum of human need and divine provision. We all need nourishment, light, a gate to access a path, and a leader to lead us to life. We need a good shepherd.
Every day in the news we encounter fresh examples of bad shepherding. People in charge of protecting the President are not at their post, but instead, allegedly, at the bar or the strip club. A young man is in the driver's seat early one morning with three friends in the car. Driving drunk, his actions result in their deaths. Politicians focus on finding chinks in one another's armor rather than finding solutions to the nation's injustices. Pastors abuse their positions of spiritual influence and take advantage of vulnerable people. Bad shepherds.
John's gospel holds up a picture of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. His audience would have been familiar with the notion of the Good Shepherd, because it was the portrait of who the king should be in the history of the Israelite people. In Israel's history, the king, in ruling the land, was to embody the attributes of God. His duty was to act out of concern for justice for the poor, to be a shepherd who looked out for the rights and needs of the widow and the orphan, the most vulnerable of the flock. The king was to reflect the care of God envisioned so beautifully in Psalm 23: "The Lord is my shepherd."
As Christians we believe that king has come and that we are to live in such a way that we mirror his way of being in the world. Every Christian is called to be a shepherd. We each have a sphere of influence, even if we don't think of ourselves as public figures. We are not all called to dramatic situations in which our physical lives are on the line, but there is the less dramatic, daily sacrifice involved in allowing the Good Shepherd to guide the way we offer guidance and nurture to those we encounter each day. That means being vigilant to all that would threaten our flock and not abandoning our post in trying times.
Your challenge this week is to use this scripture or another verse that describes The Good Shepherd. When uploading your project, please use keyword ODBDBVT43 and then hop over to OurDaily Bread Designs Forum to share your creation with us!
Have a blessed day!
Supplies for this project
Cardstock: Truly Yours – Black Card Base; Bazzill – Java, Black, Coconut Swirl
Decorative Paper: Echo Park – Walk in the Park
Stamps: Our Daily Bread Designs – Lord is my Shepherd, God’s Hands
Inks, Stains and Paints: Memento – Rich Cocoa; Ranger Distress Ink – Walnut Stain, Black Soot, Wild Honey
Dies, Punches & Embossing Folders: Sizzix Embossing Folder - Burlap
Accessories & Other Stuff: American Crafts Ribbon
Have a blessed day!