My mother-in-law is Catholic, and depictions of Jesus hang in every room, often in his anguished last moments. My sons, as U.S. Lutherans, are more used to seeing the plain cross hanging in church, and I can tell it haunts them to see the body of Christ in agony. But in my mother’s guest room, Jesus is pictured as a shepherd. He holds a baby lamb and is followed by a dozen grown sheep. “I wonder what he’s thinking?” I asked my son, 3. “He just loves sheeps,” he replied as if that were just obvious.
This message is an excerpt of “Jesus the Shepherd” by Karen Craigo in the May 2017 issue of Gather magazine.