There is good reason that South Dakota is sometimes called “the land of infinite variety.” Driving down the highway, north, south, east or west one encounters landscapes, sky and water that singularly are unremarkable, but put together paints a picture of serene beauty that only God Himself could create. There is a place on Highway 45 north of Kimball where you come over the top of a hill and suddenly find yourself with a view of the landscape and skyscape that goes on for miles and miles. Cattle in the distance look like pepper sprinkles on a fried egg. I have pulled over to the side of the road once or twice, just to stand there and admire it (no need to worry about traffic…a pickup truck might come by every 30 minutes or so). I get a very peaceful feeling standing there looking at such immense beauty; and a feeling that I’m in God’s protective care. Any farmer will tell you that the purpose of a shepherd is to protect his sheep. The Old Testament often speaks of God as shepherd of His people. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture (Ps. 100:3). The Shepherd brings a sense of peace and security to those He watches from above. “The Messiah” is also pictured as a shepherd of God’s people. He is the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls (1Pet. 2:25). Jesus – The Messiah – made three promises to his followers. He promised them everlasting life. If they accept His words and follow His commands, they will have the life of God in them. Jesus also promised them a life that would know no end. Death would not be the end but the beginning. Jesus promised a life that was secure. Jesus said that nothing would snatch them out of His protective hand, not even suffering, pain, sorrow or death. On this Good Shepherd Sunday, we are reminded that our lives are safe in the hands of the “real” good shepherd.
He is Risen!