Archive for September 2, 2018

TAKE IT FROM A SHEPHERD

September 2, 2018

It’s still Sunday.  Seems a shame to focus on those Unsolvable worldly Problems right now,  so I’ll report a little spiritual matter that came up recently, from a combination of sources.

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It began with a quiet evening with Son on my back deck.   I remarked how lately I’d  been appreciating a beautiful portion of my back yard.

Green pathways 350

Some of you have seen my back yard before,  but  this year I had made sure that grass grew on that pathway connecting the two parts of the yard.  (The camera didn’t pick up the bright green of the pathway.)    I had thought it looked nice with a dirt path,  you know, like a natural deer path?  But this year I think the green pathway looks nice,  and it’s more inviting.  Gray rock on one side, old leaves on the other side.

That evening on the deck was still and quiet.  The water in the pond had a shining surface, and looked cool and pleasing.

Deck Left Aug 20 350

 

“Green Pathways”   +    “Still  Waters”   =   I couldn’t help thinking of the “23rd Psalm (according to Jewish numbering).

lamb not wanting

“The Lord is my Shepherd,  I shall not want.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures.  He leadeth me beside still waters . . .”

At one time this Psalm was not only common knowledge,  but also a great comfort to  most Americans.   Today,  it is practically unknown,  unless you go to a Bible-reading church.    I memorized it as a child, of course;  we “had” to,  but I almost immediately understood its importance and deep,  rich meaning that continues to comfort.

What’s so special about “green pathways and still waters”?    They are  everything a little lamb would need.    They are a symbol for everything a whole flock of sheep would need!   The sheep who follow a  good and skillful shepherd will never be in want.

lamb sit and wait

There are several books written by men who have been shepherds and who know sheep well.

lamb book  According to these books, lambs are cute,  but they’re really,  really dumb, and they can’t take care of themselves.   When they grow up to be sheep,  they don’t get any smarter.   They’ll follow anything that looks like a good idea to them.  They’ll eat food that is bad for them.   They don’t realize they need fresh water and rest.    Stress kills them,  sooner or later.      And they don’t see danger coming until it’s too late!

But a good shepherd loves them and takes good care of them anyway.

And here is the connection to us:  The Bible says  “We all like sheep have gone astray. . .”

Of all the animals in the world,   the sheep most thoroughly resembles – us!

You know that Jesus has called Himself The Good Shepherd.   “Ego sum Pastor bonus.”   Why does He care so much “that we have everything we need”?

One answer.  Because he bought us!

He bought and paid for each one of us.

With His life:

lamb sacrificed

 

Some want to be counted with Jesus,  the Good Shepherd.

lamb knows voice

 

They will be all right.  They will lack nothing.  They won’t go astray.  And they will make it to Heaven,  following every moment, every step in His footsteps.

 

Bar Cross in middle

 

Of course,  not every human being chooses to be in His flock.    They want to do life their own way.   They want to choose their own path.  I don’t know where they’re heading.

Maybe they should take it from the shepherd,  David, and read that Psalm  (Psalm  22,  traditional Christian numbering,   or Psalm 23, Jewish numbering.)

Maybe people should try memorizing it.   “It’s the Psalm that keeps on giving!”

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