John 10:11-18 (NRSV)
Verse 11"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. Verse 12The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs awayand the wolf snatches them and scatters them. Verse 13The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. Verse 14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, Verse 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. Verse 16I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. Verse 17For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. Verse 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father."
As a campaign slogan, “Let me be your Shepherd” would not project the image needed to win an election. These days such subtleties are lost in the news and on social media. Strength and power aren’t evoked by that label.
Yet Shepherd was a political role in the world of the Bible. God expected the kings of Israel to shepherd their people but most of them ignored that. What would our world be like if leaders and rulers considered themselves care-taking shepherds? Imagine a campaign with candidates who tried to “out-shepherd” each other.
The Lord had said Godself would take over as Good Shepherd. Jesus did so until he was killed. He had promised to take his life up again and did that, too. Who could have expected such resurrection power? Jesus sent disciples to the ends of the earth with the Easter power to claim people for God’s holy flock.
Ruling Savior, we depend on your will to power us through this difficult time of pandemic. Infuse us with the energy to accomplish the tasks set before us. Help us stay connected with others in your flock by creative ways. Amen.