Just saw a photo of a shepherd playing with one of his sheep in a meadow in Israel.
Couldn’t help but think how big and dirty the sheep looked. They weren’t those cute, fuzzy babies you see at petting zoos. These animals were shaggy and horned, kind of ugly really, with their varicoloured coats of black, brown and grey-white, bits of debris caught in their wool. I guess they poop, too, at least as much as the raccoons in my backyard.
Thought of how sentimental we get about Jesus as humanity’s Good Shepherd, picturing him cuddling a small white lamb.
Thought of what a rough, messy bunch His flock of humans are – hooves, horns, dirt, loudly bleating, always consuming, “munch, munch”.
At funerals we listen to the sweet Psalm 23, comforted by the warm welcome of a dinner table, green grass and still water. Can you imagine how real sheep would wreck that family picnic?
Just feeling awed by the radical Christ – cosmos-creator who morphed into a faithful, rescuing shepherd of unruly sheep.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me…and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” (John 10)
Dear shaggy Reader, let us be thankful, so thankful.