Sunday, April 26, 2015

Good Shepherd Sunday

As an Episcopalian, I heard one very fine sermon today from our lectionary about Jesus as the “good shepherd,” and now I’ve read other good sermons online. 
We have a marvelous stained glass window in my church.  My photo may not be great, but the window is.  There’s a beautiful Jesus, tenderly carrying a beautiful lamb. 
This window got personal for me a couple of years ago during a “quiet retreat” in my parish.  I happened to sit just below this window.  In my long, quiet time of prayer and reflection, that window, that image spoke to me.  I found myself identifying with that beautiful, vulnerable lamb, and I wished to be cradled and carried in safety and love. Internally, I found myself shouting in anger at that tender Jesus in the stained glass window: “Where the hell were you when I needed to be cradled and carried??”  I’m not delusional. I’m not given to visions.  But, my friends, it was like I heard Jesus quietly responding to me out of that glass: “And when did you give up your ego and your pride and allow me to carry you?”
Wherever it came from, that voice of response was scathingly true.  Much as I long to be nurtured and tended and carried and cared for, my stiff necked ego just can’t give in and let myself be nurtured and carried.  I want it.  Oh, God, how I want it!  But the thought of yielding – the thought of being vulnerable and needy and meek and defenseless – it scares me to death.  It scares me to death!

So about three years after that “silent retreat” in my parish … 3 years after that “conversation” with this image …  I still confront this stained glass window every Sunday.  Jesus and I are still arguing.  I  with my conflicted desires, and Jesus with his invitation. 



Blogger JCF said...

Musical accompaniment for your meditations:

4/27/2015 1:05 AM  

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