Saturday, April 28, 2018

His endless mercy follows me

Jesus, the Good Shepherd pledges his voice, his word,
for our hearing.
And we hear the Shepherd’s voice in the scriptures, in prayer,
in our hearts and in our minds, in our conscience.
His voice is always there to be heard, to be followed:
though whether we hear and follow where his voice leads - is up to us.

The Good Shepherd promises to know us.
And no one knows me better, no one knows you better,
than Jesus, the Shepherd of us all.
He knows us better than we know ourselves.
He knows us inside out – and still loves us.
He knows everything we do, everything we think of doing
and everything we’ve failed to do – and still forgives us.
He knows the secrets of my heart and all its desires
but still gives us, time after time, opportunities
to improve on our mistakes, to try again, to begin again,
to win again his favor and his love.

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, promises us eternal life.
And in light of that promise, anything else we think we need to be happy
pales in comparison.
The problem comes whenever I begin to think
that what I believe I need to be happy this week
is greater, more important or more compelling
than the promise of the gift of life forever.

Finally, Jesus, the Good Shepherd promises us
that we shall not perish,
that no one and nothing can snatch us from his hand.
Indeed, the promise of life forever tells us that even in death,
we do not perish,
that not even death can snatch us from the Shepherd’s hand:
we are always and ever held in the palm of the Lord’s saving hand.

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pray
for all the good and gracious things we came to pray for today.
It only means that the happiness, the serenity, the contentment
that any of those things might bring us
is little, indeed,
in light of all that Jesus, the Good Shepherd promises
to us who are in his flock.

The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.
Jesus, my Good Shepherd,
I trust in you alone
for your endless mercy follows me,
your goodness will lead me home…