Sacrifice is at the heart of real love

The Shepherd and Scattered Sheep

The Shepherd and His Scattered Sheep

40 Gifts of Lent | Gift 8
Reflections on Mark 12 – end

“…for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered.'”…Then everyone deserted him and fled. A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him,  he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.  Mark 14: 27, 48 – 52

Like them, I would bolt in the face of persecution, terrified and fleeing to avoid the same scorn as Christ endured. I think back to the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve ran away from God, in fear and nakedness. Like them, I forget the safety of the sheepfold and turn away from the protection of the shepherd’s rod and staff.

…and the shame of that and the guilt of that is so hard to bare.

And the Shepherd takes all of that guilt and all of that shame upon himself.

Oh, the sweet gift of the Shepherd to call my name, over and over again. Calling my name to return back to him, for I am one of his scattered sheep in desperate need of the Shepherd.  So thankful that I know his voice when he speaks, “You are loved. You are mine. You are forgiven. Return to me. I will never forsake you.”

Sacrifice is at the heart of real love.

All the apostles had forsaken him. In the garden, at his most sorrowful hour, “They all left him and fled” (Mark 14:50). If you have forsaken him, let him down, offended him, take heart, he is not less eager to repair things with you. Seek his face. Ask him. Receive his grace. (John Piper)

He is a faithful and persistent shepherd.

The Shepherd

I weep over the sorrows and disgraces of our Lord,
and what causes me the greatest sorrow
is that men, for whom He suffered so much,
live in forgetfulness of Him.
~St. Francis of Assisi

About 40 Gifts of Lent 

I am anticipating the arrival of Easter and celebrating the most amazingly good gift I’ve ever received. I want to focus my heart on the fulfilled expectation of Christ’s first coming and the glorious expectation of His second coming. I want to focus on the freedom I have in Christ to overcome strongholds, yet also to gain strength, hope, and peace as I lean into the trials…To continue reading, please go here: 40 Gifts of Lent


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