Sheep and wolves

Yesterday, we went hiking here:

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Wind Wolves Preserve.

We were down two kids to sleepovers, so I got to carry a three-year-old up this hill (mostly).

Holy cow, was it a beautiful view. Snow-capped mountains to the east. Green grass, clear skies, and puffy clouds. And to the west, rain headed our way that made us glad we left when we did!

The preserve has tule elk, with the hopes also that this will become a great home for California Condors, which will be able to scavenge their carcasses (picturesque thought, right?). But in the pastures leading up to the actual preserve, you will usually see either cattle or sheep. They seem pretty content with their surroundings there; I can’t blame them.

One of my favorite passages in the whole Bible is John 10, where Jesus paints a picture of sheep and a shepherd, but also thieves and wolves. The images are also a direct reference to Psalm 23, where David paints the picture of what he first learned as a shepherd – long before being a king was even a passing thought.

Like everything else in the Gospels, I like to hear the heart of Jesus in what He says in John 10.

“The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” Personal care.

“The sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, fo they do not know the voice of strangers.” Familiarity.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Investment.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his live for the sheep.” Sacrifice.

He never denies there are thieves or wolves or dangers “in the valley of the shadow of death.” He promises His presence.

“I am with you.”

That means everything.

The best place to be is wherever Jesus is.

(Lent 28/40)

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