Jesus said, ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11)
This pastoral image bears some explanation for us 21st century ‘city slickers’. The 1st century shepherd would have looked after his sheep in all weathers, a significant commitment. There was an intimate bond. All that symbolism is picked up here. This scripture is also one of the ‘I am’ sayings in the Gospel of John. ‘I am’ was a name for God, so this scripture indicates that Jesus’ impending death is part of God’s plan for us. Thankfully most educators nowadays don’t find themselves in life or death situations. However, good educators (and parents, too) give of themselves for their students, for their community. In a very real and concrete way, we build community by acting in this way.
Young people know and frequently appreciate the educators who give of themselves. It is our role, by word and deed, to encourage young people to do likewise. To encourage young people to discover their gifts – academic, cultural, artistic, sporting, leadership – and use them to help build community, to help build the good.
Have a great week!