“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, which is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. 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. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”
Food For Thought:
This has always been one of my favorite passages of Scripture. In this passage we are given the image of God as the good shepherd caring for his sheep. If one sheep gets lost, God will go out and search for it. This is a powerful image and a beautiful reminder that even when we are lost God will search us out and find us because that’s what a loving caretaker does for those he/she cares for.
God, you sent your Son into the world that we might live through him. May we abide in his risen life so that we may bear the fruit of love for one another and know the fullness of joy. Amen.