Monday Rewrite: The Good Shepherd

‘Imagine this,’ Jesus says, ‘a thief cuts though a fence and sneaks into a field at night, so he can steal the sheep and harm them. You know what that can be like, how soul-destroying. Now think about the shepherd, he comes in through the gate, calls to the sheep, knows their names. They recognise his voice and follow him. They trust him and he leads them out, stays with them, looks after them. Which picture do you prefer? The brutal thief or the kind shepherd? Obvious isn’t it?’

A voice calls out, ‘What do you mean? What are you talking about?’

‘I’m talking about leaders. Those in authority. A good shepherd stands in the gateway. He effectively becomes the gate. Stops wolves and attackers coming in to hurt the sheep. That’s me. Others have been more like the thieves. In it for themselves. Not caring about the sheep, but just taking what they want. I am like the shepherd in the gateway, come through me and you will find full life. Real life. Remember Psalm 23? The Lord is your shepherd, your helper, protector and guide. He leads to good green pastures. Gives you rest and hope. And when you’re in life’s valleys, in the shadows and grim places, he is with you. Helping you, strengthening and comforting. That’s what I’m talking about when I say that I am the good shepherd.’

Taken from John, a reimagining of John’s Gospel

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