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Gentle Advent Devotion Number 4

This is the fourth and final devotion in the Gentle Advent series. You can read more about what Gentle Advent is here.

⭐️ You can listen to it or read it below ⭐️

Welcome to the last stop on our journey. When you’re ready, turn over the fourth card. Let’s read the Bible verse and spend a moment savouring the Saviour together.

Jesus says:

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." John 10:11

What a marvellous metaphor and one of my favourites! I love how God’s word uses imagery. This is God our father speaking in a way that helps us to understand. Like a parent crouching down at eye-level with their child.

Shepherds and sheep are perhaps not something most of us in urban cultures are overly familiar with. So let’s consider agrarian societies and in particular the ancient ones of the Bible. Sheep, then as today, are vulnerable and dependent creatures. Often skittish and wary.

There is much to say about a good shepherd’s loving care but these words by Professor Elaine A. Phillips are a beautiful summary:

“Good shepherds invested days and months of arduous labor as they migrated great lengths with their flocks to find food and water. In order to protect their sheep from threats of all kinds, they watched over them for long stretches of hours at a time. They cared for those that were diseased, and knew each sheep by name and touch. The shepherd’s staff was a symbol of care, giving assistance and direction, and of leadership and rescue.”

Let that settle and sink in for a minute. This is the love and close care of a good shepherd for his precious sheep.

Jesus Is The Good Shepherd

Jesus isn’t just any shepherd he is THE GOOD shepherd. The shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep.

The God who spoke creation into being, who is more powerful than we can imagine, stepped into his world to rescue and redeem. Jesus is the way securing our adoption and crowning as children of God.

Beloved, if in that act we see expressed the character of our God, then it is the character of our God in every situation. Both when we see it and when we don’t. When circumstances are joyous, sorrow filled and everything in between. When the walls cave in. When we can’t run on the hamster wheel anymore. When we’re tired. When we’ve messed up again. His love and character don’t change. His posture towards us remains steadfast.

The good shepherd knows our struggles. He invites his own with these gentle, love and compassion filled words “‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.

This is the great shepherd. Our good shepherd. He will keep us because he holds us fast.

Let’s Pray

Lord Jesus, thank you that you are the good shepherd. Your love for us and close care is more than we can fathom. Thank you that love came down at Christmas. Please help us to know and see you more clearly as you work in and through us.

For your glory and our good,



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