Historically Good Shepherd Sunday is celebrated on the Fourth Sunday of Easter which is this week. All of our readings point to the reality that Jesus is the Good Shepherd of our souls. He alone gives us access to God through His sacrifice upon the cross, and He alone knows, desires, and purposes what is best for us. It is a comforting image, but also a challenging one for us to consider as well.
Elsewhere in the Anglican Communion it is called Vocation Sunday. A reminder that our calling is not what we do, but whose we are in this life. As followers of Jesus that calling carries us into the marketplace and neighborhoods in which we live. It is not something that is confined to the walls of a church building, but rather flows from His Church into the world throughout the week.
This week as we reflect upon this image and as our kids interact with sheep after worship to drive home the theme we don’t easily grasp in our culture, we are called to discover and rediscover that the Good Shepherd, Jesus, purposes we find abundant life in Him daily. A journey that leads us to green pastures with Him forevermore on the other side of the veil in eternity, but one that begins today and enrolls others in that journey also. Might I suggest this week that you read and reflect upon Psalm 23 anew each night. One great teacher in the faith by the name of Dallas Willard shared it was his practice nightly to recite it before bed to put all things back in perspective at the end of the day and to call him back to the promise of abundant life found through following Jesus.