The local memory care nursing home, Thrive, has sheep outside its doors. The three plastic sheep are something they added this year. I don’t know who is in charge of the sheep but what they are doing changes with the season. For instance, on Valentine’s day they held up big hearts. New Year’s they wore funny hats. At the beginning of the pandemic, they held a tape measure showing six feet for social distancing. I didn’t get pictures of any of those things, but here are a few of the sheep pictures since then.
These silly sheep have added a bit of joy to my life as we drive past them on our way to anywhere. I love the creativity of the person who sets them up and dresses them.
Jesus talked a lot about sheep. He called himself the Shepherd. In John 10:3 he says, “(The Shepherd) calls his sheep by name and they listen to his voice.” This image of the shepherd is, perhaps, the simplest image of us as Christians. We are to listen and follow our Shepherd. To recognize his voice and his commands. To do what he calls us to do. That is all. We are not supposed to stray off on our own. We are to stay with the flock and obey the Shepherd.
Much easier said than done. After all, we have opinions and our own minds. If the grass over there looks better than the grass here, we are likely to take off on our own. If the Shepherd tells us to move along and we aren’t ready, we stubbornly resist. We get caught up in our way and forget to follow his way.
We need to be simple sheep: obedient and loving with no excuses. Listening and knowing the voice of our Shepherd. Oswald Chambers wrote, “Living a life of faith means never knowing where you are being led. But it does mean loving and knowing the One who is leading.”
Are you a simple sheep or a silly sheep? Will you follow the Shepherd and listen to his voice?