Today, as I heard on the radio this morning, is Good Shepherd's Sunday in the Catholic year. We can learn a lot from reflecting on the different images we have of God as Father, Mother, Creator, King, Judge, or of Jesus as brother, Saviour, friend, lover, advocate. I think the concept of God and Christ as shepherd is one of the richest with its connotations of being guided, tended and valued so much that he will rise and seek for us to bring us home. No-one has so little worth that they can be dispensed by the Good Shepherd, and the more we are in need, the more imperative it is to Him to reach us even at great cost to Himself. There is also the idea of Christ as the Lamb of God which reminds us of the God in Christ who comes to be among us and be utterly vulnerable as we are.
This beautiful metaphor for God and God in Christ should comfort us and help us to trust, even if our capacity to trust has been damaged by our experiences or individuals and even if we feel we can no longer put our trust in institutions or ideology. We can always trust God to meet us in our needs, or as one of these songs says, God shepherds us beyond our wants and fears. Both of these hymns are about TLC _ not just tender loving care but trust, love and confidence when we approach God. I've posted them before - still I hope you find them meaningful.