Have you ever had a dangerous shopping experience ?
In the Jerusalem Old City Market, our group was walking along briskly.
I was lagging behind, because I was shopping for a white tunic made of Egyptian cotton. This type of cotton has long fibres and makes a beautiful, durable fabric.
Because of my intense focus on my shopping, I found myself separated from the group!
Suddenly I felt two strong arms grab me from behind. My ‘kidnapper’ pulled me into the back of one of the shops, and quickly fastened a silver necklace around my neck. He demanded that I pay him three hundred American dollars for the item.
I knew I was in danger, and so I bartered with the man, hoping someone would figure out where I had disappeared to.
The minutes dragged by, and then I heard a loud baritone voice yell : ‘Leave her alone !’ It was Father Matthew, the leader of our group. As a good shepherd, he realized that one of his sheep was missing, and he came looking for me.
When he asked how I had gotten lost, I explained that I was shopping for a tunic. Father Matthew came with me then, and waited while I bought one. He then carried my shopping bag, and we walked to rejoin our group.
Spiritual sheep need to be together. We are vulnerable, and unhappy when separated from our groups. This is the time when we are unable to gather in public, and so we cling even more closely to the words and the guidance of Jesus, our Great High Priest. We believe what the scripture has taught us, and we know that we are continually in the hands of The Good Shepherd.