I remember my grandmother asking me to memorize the 23rd Psalm. The psalmist begins, “The Lord is my shepherd” and to this day I see the silhouette of the solitary shepherd standing against the Judean hillside, there to protect and guide the sheep, but the sheep have plenty of time to wander off and get lost!
In the words of musician John Ylvisaker, we might “wander off where demons dwell” (“Borning Cry,” Evangelical Lutheran Worship 732). And yet it is in seemingly godless places that God enters to search us out and bring us home. In this image of God as shepherd one begins to realize the lengths to which God is willing to go to reunite in the master’s fold. It’s no wonder that one of the earliest depictions of Jesus is that of the good shepherd.
Adapted from “Godscape” by Jeff Frohner in the March 2013 issue of Gather magazine.