There is perhaps no more beloved image of who Jesus is from John’s gospel than the image of the “Good Shepherd”. It is an image that often evokes a feeling of tenderness, care, and warmth. How many stained glass windows or gilded images have you seen of the shepherd carrying the sheep across his shoulders? This coming Sunday we will hear of Jesus as the good shepherd—the one who cares, protects, seeks out, loves, and even sacrifices for the sheep of the fold. This is placed next to our hearing of the 23rd Psalm—a beloved scripture in and of itself. What you might notice is that the shepherd in the 23rd Psalm, who is the LORD, moves from a distant “he” to an intimate “you” once the person speaking the psalm enters the “valley of the shadow of death.” These two texts together remind us that God is very near us and perhaps at no time is God closer to us than in our moments of despair, suffering, and “death”. God is the shepherd who cares for us, draws us in, embraces us, and calls us God’s own. This good news is for you—for you who God loves into new life. Indeed, this good news is for all people, even “other sheep” belonging to a different fold. It’s incredible, isn’t it? God’s love is for all people, for all time, in all places. So, come and hear the good news this Sunday. Hear the words of hope and life that you are loved, you are God’s, and that you are called into deeper life by giving yourself to others.
This Sunday, as we join together at the Lord’s table, we’ll hear that the “King of love, my shepherd is”. As a church, we’ll learn to give of ourselves as we support Holy Trinity Lutheran in our shared efforts to provide a resting place for the families of Family Promise of Greater Denver. It will be a full day—a day of resurrection.
See you Sunday!