7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
In my reading to prepare for this series I learned a lot about sheep and shepherds! One of the things that struck me the most is the care that the shepherds have for the sheep. I learned that as the sheep go in and out of the pen, the shepherd inspects each individual sheep. They look for illnesses common among sheep and any injuries that the sheep may have suffered. The shepherds would then care for the specific needs of the individual sheep. The sheep’s comings and goings would have been carefully monitored by the shepherd – not much would have escaped his watchful eye. This allowed the sheep to go about living as sheep are intended to live.
What a picture of care that paints for us in relation to what Jesus does for us!
Thank you for being our watchful shepherd standing guard at the gate. For paying careful attention to our comings and goings, tending to our needs and healing our wounds. I am humbled by the attention and care you so freely give so that I can continue to live the life you have designed me to live. Not just one of existence but one marked by protection and abundance! Thank you! Amen.