Signs of the Times

From an article in Front Rank St. Louis, Missouri

Because it is a figure of speech with which we are all so familiar, Jesus as the good shepherd does not have the full meaning which he doubtless intended it to have. For those who heard it for the first time, it carried a connotation of tenderness and love which we frequently miss altogether. ... The good shepherd knows his sheep by name; he watches over them and guards them with his life. He is willing to lay down his life for the well-being of his flock. Such is the quality of his love for his sheep. ... The love that is exemplified in the figure of the good shepherd ... is tender, and it is bold; it is courageous and it is meek. ... it is safe and it is perilous. It contains all of the elements of the shepherd caring for his sheep in a serene setting and all of the elements of the shepherd guarding his sheep in the midst of danger. Love like this has a way of manifesting itself in a variety of ways in the midst of a variety of circumstances. Such is the breadth of meaning in the figure of the shepherd; such is the scope of the love of a shepherd for his sheep.

This is a phase of the gospel that needs to be proclaimed and witnessed today. The peoples of the world are hungry for that kind of leadership, that kind of shepherding. We have had enough of the kind of leadership that drives men like cattle, that ... thinks of men only in terms of the masses and forgets that they are individuals. ...

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May 29, 1954

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