Psalm 95:1-7a (NRSV)
1O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.
5The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land, which his hands have formed.
6O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
7For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O that today you would listen to his voice!
I don’t think it’s a compliment to be called a sheep. They seem to blindly follow their companions. They are fairly defenseless. The one redeeming sheepish quality that I would like to emulate is their intense dependence on their shepherd for their care. Did you know that a sheep’s wool will continue to grow without end? Without the assistance of their human caretakers, they would perish due to overheating in their wool coats, or worse. If we could remember that we have that type of dependency on our Shepherd, we would certainly live healthier and more joyous lives. Sheep are a surprising example to us of how to live our best lives. “We are the people of God’s pasture and the sheep of God’s hand.” For me, though, it’s still not a compliment to be called a sheep.
Lord, we as humans tend to rebel when we are told to simply follow the directions, even if those directions come from you. Help us to learn from the sheep how we can trust our Shepherd and the Word of your mouth. Amen.