READ : Isaiah 40:6-11
He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep. (v. 11)
Verses referring to sheep have taken on a whole new meaning since my time in Scotland. It was there, on a small farm, that I held in my arms my first little lamb, beautiful and trusting. It was there, on morning runs, that I would encounter flocks of sheep that followed my every movement, eager for me, or for anyone, to lead them and be their shepherd.
Like those sheep, we humans have a tendency to look to something or someone to lead and guide us, whether that be God or the Scriptures or popular culture or nationalism or consumerism. We are easily led astray, turning away from the purposes for which we were created: to live in communion with God and other people.
But we do have a shepherd, one who has laid down his life for his sheep (John 10:11). Through this Shepherd we receive the grace and love of our Father here and now, and through him we receive a glimpse of the time when we will be gathered up in his arms and carried in his bosom.
Lord, give us faith to follow you until you return again to gather your flock into your arms.