Good Shepherd Sunday. Cute image for kids. Does it mean anything for us adults this Monday morning?
From Horace, a first-century satirist: “How comes it, Maecenas, that no man living is content with the lot which either his choice has given him, or chance has thrown in his way, but each has praise for those who follow other paths? ‘O happy traders!’ cries the soldier, as he feels the weight of years, his frame now shattered with hard service. On the other hand, when southern gales toss the ship, the trader cries: ‘A soldier’s life is better…. One learned in law and statutes has praise for the farmer…. The other instances of this kind—so many are they—could tire out the chatterbox Fabius.”
“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). Really? Contentment…or lack of contentment…gives a Monday morning glimpse into our faith life.
“If some god were to say: ‘Here I am! I will grant your prayers forwith. You, who were but now a soldier, shall be a trader; thou, but now a lawyer, shall be a farmer. Change parts; away with you—and with you! Well! Why standing still?” They would refuse. And yet ‘tis in their power to be happy. What reason is there why Jove should not, quite properly, puff out both cheeks at them in anger, and say that never again will he be so easy-going as to lend ear to their prayers?” (Satires I, 1, 1-22; H.R. Fairclough)
Mythical Jove might puff his cheeks at our discontent but our Good Shepherd seeks us when we imagine the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. “Sheep that from the fold did stray / No true shepherd e’er forsaketh; Weary souls that lost their way / Christ, the Shepherd, gently taketh / In His arms that they may live: Jesus sinners doth receive.” (Lutheran Service Book, 609, 3)
“I shall not want.”