Photo: The Good Shepherd, Rosanne Kellar, Exeter Cathedral
One of the most striking things about the Exeter sculpture is it’s height: the plinth is tall, so as you stand before it the shepherd is reaching down to you, as if ready to help you up. In front of it, I instinctively grabbed the hand offered to me.
This is a Sunday when many Christian traditions reflect on The Good Shepherd – the model of humble and compassionate leadership that Jesus provides for us (John 9 and 10).
Here is my retelling from The Bible Story Retold.
“When the shepherd comes to the sheepfold, and calls out to his sheep, they’ll follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger. The shepherd will keep them safe from the wolves that howl at night because he loves his sheep. The shepherd leads them to green pasture, and will never abandon them when danger comes – unlike someone hired, who is working for money. The shepherd will lay down his life for his flock.
“I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep, and my sheep know me. They recognise my voice and follow me. And I will lay down my life for them. Some of my sheep are far away – I’ll call them, too, and they’ll come. They will be one big flock, with one good shepherd.”
Yet the religious leaders argued over who Jesus was. “The man’s mad!” said some, while others were less sure. “How can a madman open the eyes of the blind?”
Please feel free to use this reading if it is of help, saying where it is from.