Today we lit the first purple candle as we considered Jesus Christ’s words: "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
Quite a contrast to the shepherds in Ezekiel who “did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock.”
But, Ezekiel continues: “the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.”
We were reminded that the sheep imagery is a bit deceptive for those unfamiliar with sheep. Unlike this stuffed toy they aren’t really cuddly and cute.
In reality their wool is matted and dirty and they are not very bright. BUT, they know their shepherd’s voice. And he cares for them.
This evening in the English service at Hirosaki Fukuin Church we learned two new hymns. I particularly like the first one, “Sound, sound the truth abroad!” but the second one, “Ah, Holy Jesus” had a good reminder for the Lent season:
Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay Thee,
I do adore Thee, and will ever pray Thee,
Think on Thy pity and Thy love unswerving,
Not my deserving.