Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Qualities of a Shepherd

"...it is helpful to know something about the ancient shepherds who roamed Judea. The shepherd was a peaceful person who avoided strife as much as possible; for his life was often fraught with danger.

Though many consider shepherding a masculine profession, it must be noted that female shepherds were also common in the biblical period. The shepherd needed to have a soothing personality and to know how to help his flock relax. In ancient days, the shepherd used to play his flute to help calm the nervous flock. Of all the ancient professions available to men, shepherding best enabled men to develop their maternal persona (Anderson 106)."

"The good shepherd could not look after the health of the sheep while standing afar. He had to be close at hand. His life experiences as a shepherd inspired him to see God as the Shepherd of all creation .

While some may not feel comfortable thinking of certain people as sheep and others as shepherds, our discomfort will likely disappear when we realize that the shepherding model revolves around the relationship between the shepherd and his flock. It is not a figure of strong over weak or "lords" over servants. Quite the contrary. The shepherd figure is one of love, service, and openness (Anderson 19)."

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