The Good Shepherd


Gospel writer John
loved a good agricultural metaphor;
(were there many other kinds
in a pre-industrial age?)
Jesus, lover of people,
welcomer of ratbags
and friend of troubled souls;
likens himself to a shepherd
who cares only for the welfare of his sheep.
Animal rights proponents would love him
because he reckons the life of the human shepherd
to be more expendable
than those of his ovine flock.
But we all know that it’s not about sheep.
It is about people,
individuals like you and me,
who, we are assured,
are loved and valued,
watched over and cared for
by the one he calls Father.
Furthermore, the metaphor implies,
we are all part of something bigger,
joined into one huge flock
of disparate humankind;
each member of which
is also loved and respected,
cared for and wept over
by that same Father;
and expected to do the same

© 2012 Ken Rookes River of Life, Loddon Mallee Presbytery, Uniting Church