The Lord is My Shepherd

05-08-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Since my entire ancestry is rooted in farming, it pains me to admit that not all farmers are honest 100% of the time. If they were, there would be no need for branding or spray painted markings on livestock. After all, livestock costs a small fortune and it is all too easy to go “shopping” for free animals on neighboring farms.

Before anti-theft techniques began being used, stealing from other flocks was quite common—and it is against this backdrop that Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”

We are God’s sheep and no one is powerful enough to take us away from Him. This does not mean we cannot choose to voluntarily leave the flock, but no one can forcefully remove us. And this makes sense. God is God. And the devil is a mere creature.

The devil has power. It is true. After all, every creature has power of some degree. But none off them come anywhere close to the power of God.

I am a fan of historical fiction, so it naturally occurs to me that we can explain the power of God and the power of the devil using this template.

Imagine you are a rural Nordic farmer in the time of the Vikings. You live within the territory of a kind and caring king. He offers you his protection. You have the choice of accepting or rejecting the offer. If you accept, some of the king’s forces will remain nearby. If you reject, they will leave you on your own.

But there is a raider in the area. While he is no threat to the king’s forces, he would destroy your life in the absence of protection.

It should be obvious to the farmer, you, and me that there is no reason for the farmer to reject the good king’s protection.

And it should be obvious that we should remain close to God and invite him and his forces into our homes, workplaces, and lives. After all, “no one can take us out of his hand.”

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