During our God Focus time recently at SIL Australia, we have been digging into Psalm 23, noting how active the Good Shepherd is on behalf of His sheep. This gives us all the more reason to be thankful for every good gift that He generously gives. We discussed how Psalm 23 is a great psalm for people who live in transition, like all of us. It is not our location that matters, but rather the presence of our Shepherd who comforts and guides us. As we shared together, we imagined the image of banquet re-contextualised into a joyful family picnic in the midst of turmoil and upheaval. What a beautiful image!
In this Easter season, we can trace the imagery of the shepherd down the one thousand years from David and Psalm 23 and to the coming of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. For example, Ezekiel 34 rebukes bad shepherds and the Lord promises that He would Himself be the Shepherd of His people. The Shepherd imagery continues through Isaiah (cf. Isaiah 40; 56; 63), Jeremiah (cf. Jeremiah 3; 23; 31) and Zechariah (cf. Zechariah 9-11). Finally, in John 10:11, Jesus declares, “I am the Good Shepherd!”. John presents Jesus as the great Shepherd come to gather all the lost sheep (of Israel and the nations) into one flock; the new community of the people of God.
If you are living in transition, or if you need comfort or guidance, we pray that our Good Shepherd will indeed be your place of security and that His goodness and mercy will pursue you every day. We recommend exploring the image of the Good Shepherd as a rich exercise for this Easter season in order to deepen your faith and appreciation of the many layers of the Scriptures.
We thank God for you and pray that the God of peace – who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, will equip you with all you need for doing His will. May He produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to Him (Hebrews 13:20-21).
God bless you all!
Graham and Ellie
© Graham and Ellie Scott