He Seeks The Unruly

220px-Brooklyn_Museum_-_The_Good_Shepherd_(Le_bon_pasteur)_-_James_Tissot_-_overall copy 2We are misled by the religious pictures which depict Jesus as the good shepherd carrying a cuddly white lamb on his shoulder. A lamb will hardly stray from its mother. It is the troublesome, obstreperous sheep which is likely to go astray, going through the fence, having its wool torn and probably ending up in a ditch of dirty water. It is this dirty, smelly, riotous creature, which the good shepherd goes after, leaving the good, well-behaved ninety-nine in the wilderness, and when he finds it, why, he carries it on his shoulder and calls his friends to celebrate with him.

–Desmond Tutu,
Hope and Suffering

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Published in: on 04/11/2018 at 19:23  Leave a Comment  
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Not a blessed thing

220px-Brooklyn_Museum_-_The_Good_Shepherd_(Le_bon_pasteur)_-_James_Tissot_-_overall copy

Neither the lost coin nor the lost sheep was capable of any repentance at all. The entire cause of the recovery operation in both stories is the shepherd’s, or the woman’s determination to find the lost. Neither the lost sheep nor the lost coin does a blessed thing, except hang around in its lostness. On the strength of this parable, therefore, it is precisely our sins, and not our goodnesses, that most commend us to the grace of God.

–Robert Farrar Capon
Kingdom, Grace, Judgment

Image:  James Tissot

Lost and found

Good Shepherd 5

It turns out that what makes
history come out in triumph
is some dumb sheep that
couldn’t find its way home.

–Robert Farrar Capon

Published in: on 02/15/2013 at 5:17  Leave a Comment  
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