Following the Shepherd

The thought of a gentle and loving shepherd guiding and protecting his sheep as they graze over pasturelands is a pleasant one. It is easy to picture him leading them to lush grassy areas, directing them to a brook when they are thirsty, and preventing aimless straying. In his watchful way, he constantly guards them from harm. The shepherd's daily attention to the needs of his flock is the basis of their trust.

In the Bible the relationship of shepherd to sheep is often used to illustrate God's loving care for His children. Christ Jesus used the example many times during his ministry. His love for his own followers stands for all time as the supreme exemplification of shepherding Love. He told his believers that he was the good shepherd, and that those who followed him would never perish. In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy gives this metaphysical interpretation of the word "sheep": "Innocence; inoffensiveness; those who follow their leader." Science and Health, p. 594.

Psalm 23 starts with the verse "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." The passages that follow refer to the peace, restoration, supply, protection, and comfort promised to those who follow their Shepherd, God, obediently. The promises contained in this psalm are for believers in every age, and of every age. It is hard to imagine such a Shepherd favoring some sheep over others because of their particular color or markings, or because they were young or old. It is hard to think that some would be less beautiful or precious in His sight than others.

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Toe tapper
June 11, 1984

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