By Elaine Knudtson
“Carry Me” by Richard and Sarah Lacy and David Brio
Jesus Our Shepherd
Jesus, the great shepherd was welcomed into this world by a band of shepherds. Their response was one of terror as the skies were flooded with a great company of angels. It was the ultimate worship service.
Dear Lord, it was not by chance that you chose shepherds to receive the news of your birth. Give us ears to hear your voice as we consider what it means to be one of your sheep.
“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” Isa. 40:11
“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the 99 in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep’.” Luke 15:4-6
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” Jn. 10:27-30
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:8-14
“Jesus tender shepherd hear me, bless your little lamb tonight, through the darkness be thou near me, keep me safe ‘til morning light.”
You have carried me through the dark places in this life, lifting me on your shoulders when I lacked the strength to go on.
I heard your voice in the darkness saying, “I can carry your burdens.”
I heard you whisper, “Fear not” when the way ahead was uncertain and the path behind was closed.
I rested in the safety of your love when I was encircled by enemies who gloated at my hurt.
You restored me when I came through the fire and the flood, frightened but unharmed because you went before me and lead the way.
I know your voice in the night when I’m alone and dissonant memories threaten my peace with accusations of sin, failure and defeat.
You do not accuse, you forgive.
You do not condone, you lead me in paths of righteousness.
You do not abandon, you carry me.
You search for me when I am lost, hiding in shame from your gaze.
Even when I am faithless, you remain faithful, calling my name until I can resist no longer.
Will I know your voice when I close my eyes for the last time and enter your eternal rest?
Will you call my name and invite me to dwell with you forever?
Points to Ponder
- Do you know the voice of the good shepherd? What does he say to you?
- Why were the shepherds the only ones to respond to the angel chorus? How did their presence at the manger encourage Mary?
Dear Lord, you are our shepherd. We respond to you when we spend time in your word and recognize your voice. Even when we move away, the familiar call to come home resonates in our hearts. Keep us close.