Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven
where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Shepherds and Sinners

There’s an old hymn that goes, in part:
“Saviour like a Shepherd lead us, much we need thy tender care; in the pleasant pastures feed us, for our use Thy folds prepare. Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, Thou hast bought us Thine we are”

By the time Jesus came to earth, like atheists down through the ages, the Jewish people had come to see themselves as better than others. Even within the Jewish culture of the time there was a strong hierarchical system. Women and Shepherds were at the bottom as were those who were unclean (eg. those with leprosy) and of course those who were outside the will of the Church.

Anyone who knows anything about Jesus knows that He identified Himself strongly with Shepherds. He was purposely born into poverty and in circumstances that provoked outrage and judgement. Jesus touched the unclean; he made physical contact with the untouchables. He welcomed women - outcast women - into His ministry. Jesus who is Creator God showed through His example of seeking them out and spending time with them that He loves sinners.

Jesus came to earth because He loves you!

The Bible of course was written with references that seemed more relevant to an agrarian society than to ours. Yet, even now we can see how important it is to have a Shepherd, a Leader, a Guide, a Saviour whose main concern is not for Himself but for those who are in His care.

“I myself will search for my sheep and look after them . . . so will I look after my sheep.
I will rescue them from the places where they were scattered . . .
I will tend them in a good pasture . . .
I myself will tend my sheep . . .
I will search for the lost and bring back the strays . . .
I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak . . .
I will shepherd the flock with justice.”
Ezekiel 34:11-16

When you finally turn to find Jesus, you’ll find that His Love has been pursuing you all along.

So great is the tender loving care of my Lord and Saviour that to be called a “sheeple” by the ignorant atheist is of no great concern to me. Let them mock.

I’m secure.
I’m home.
I’m safe.

I am a citizen of God’s heavenly kingdom.
Thank you Lord.

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