Good Shepherd Sunday. It comes around every year on the Fourth Sunday of Easter. And it's full of sheep. Lots and lots of sheep. We hear the passage from John's gospel where Jesus proclaims, "I am the Good Shepherd." We read the familiar lines of the 23rd Psalm, "The Lord is my shepherd." We sing hymns with pastoral references like "Shepherd of Souls Refresh and Bless."
Preachers either love this day because of the powerful and comforting metaphors or, if they've been at it for awhile, feel like they've already said everything they could ever possibly say about sheep. This year I stand somewhere in the middle -- thinking I really should have brought in a guest preacher from New Zealand.
Anyway, as I was thinking about the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd I remembered the tiny Good
Shepherd chapel at the Washington National Cathedral. I wanted to remind myself exactly what it looked like as I had a pretty powerful spiritual experience there the day before I was ordained a deacon.
What I learned was never, ever google images of the Good Shepherd. There are some horrendous examples of "art" out there which may well forever ruin this wonderful image for you. Think I'm joking? Fine. Take a look for yourself. Just remember, I warned you...
|Thank you Franklin Mint. If your intention was to make Jesus look like |
Mitchell from Modern Family but with long hair, you've succeeded.
|Jesus as Fabio. Next time add a breeze so he gets that sexy windblown look.|
|You do know that this was just a metaphor, right? Jesus wasn't actually a shepherd. |
He called disciples, not a flock.
|Ah, the romance of holding a lamb by the light of the moon. Creepy.|
|Jesus is about to wack you with a crowbar. Better wipe that goofy grin off your face, sheepy.|
|Hearts. Rainbows. It's like eating Lucky Charms!|
|Jesus as Chuck Norris? "Watch me use my flying roundhouse kick to turn this thing into a lamb chop."|
|"I use this crown of thorns as a scrunchie to keep the long flowing locks out of my face."|