I posted several photos on this D.C. trip with the Ed. D. and Ph.D. cohorts. This one, though, I reserved for you.
This is the Good Shepherd Chapel at the US National Cathedral. It was the last stop as I followed the signs from the Bethlehem Chapel all the way through to the Resurrection Chapel. If I found it first, I guarantee a forfeit of all earlier sights. You are looking at the image from the back of the chapel, which extended maybe another two to four feet. You can see the wall on the right; it extended to the left from the image another two feet. Maybe. It is a very small room. So powerful!
Take a look at this image of Jesus. He holds a lamb close. I sat for a few minutes, and through many tears prayed, “Thank You for your care of us.” Parts of John chapter 10 came to mind.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep… I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. ~ John 10:11, 14-15 English Standard Version (ESV)
Moved does not adequately explain what happened to me in this little room. Overwhelmed fits better. I was overwhelmed. Now, that I write, I ask us to consider the verses in between the above set of verses that describe the hireling.
He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. ~ John 10:12-13 ESV
Warnings fly with the wind these days. So much so, that we question to which ones we may devote our energy and ear. Take a look at the image of Jesus, and then consider the verses about the hireling. If you attend and serve under a hireling, TAKE HEED. The Good Shepherd calls today. The hireling 1) takes no ownership, 2) leaves the sheep in danger, and 3) does not care for the sheep.
I pray this blesses you like it still blesses me. If you serve and grow under a pastor who is a shepherd, then love and honor the leader God sent you. It is becoming more rare these days. Amen? Amen.
Love to all.