There are some who believe that God only has time for those who have their act together. This is ridiculous, of course, and Good Shepherd Sunday comes this weekend to rid us of any such notions.
Jesus doesn't beat around the bush here - He lets us know exactly who He is. “I am the Good Shepherd.” In saying that, He echoes the words from Ezekiel: “I myself (that is Yahweh) will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. I will seek the lost, I will bring back the strayed, I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak.”
The Good Shepherd welcomes and tends to them all. The ones that have lost their way, the ones that have injured themselves, the ones that have inflicted damage on those around them. The ones who are just plumb worn out and don’t know if they can go on. The Lord is in the business of gathering them all together and making them lie down while He tends to them.
“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
That is the cry of our Lord’s heart to you. He knows you. He knows your name. He knows your sin. He knows you inside and out. And still He loves you.
That’s the miracle of grace we celebrate on Good Shepherd Sunday. For some strange and unfathomable reason that we’ll never understand until eternity - He loves us. He came to heal us. He came to set things right, to heal the broken, to bind up the wounds, to redeem us and restore us once and for all.
So now you're His little lamb. No matter how damaged you are, not matter how beaten up and bruised, no matter how worn out and tired. You are His. He has made you His own and said: “You are Mine!”
He’s not the God of those who have their act together. He’s the God of the sick, the injured, the weak, the straying and foolish ones. He won't turn you away. He died to free you and to release you from your sin. He rose to proclaim that death would never be the end. And He invites you to come to Him today - to die to sin and to live in His righteousness.
What a blessing to be under the care of the Good Shepherd.