“Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.”
The shepherd’s crook symbol is to remind followers of Jesus’ ministry as the Good Shepherd, from the parables in Matthew and Luke of the 99 left to find the one lost and imagery in John of the Shepherd laying his life down for the sheep, it also traces back to God’s special relationship with Israel. Important leaders within the Hebrew faith got their start as shepherds, from Jacob, Moses, to David and throughout the prophets, leadership is defined by a Shepherds’ care and protection of one’s sheep. Shepherding job was common to many in this aired land of little vegetation and water. Sheep could be cared for easily but not without challenges, like David protecting his own sheep from lions! The crook itself was a long pole to make walking easy as well as poke in darken crevices for scorpions and snakes. While the rounded end made it easier to guide the sheep in the right direction. It’s a symbol of protection, authority, and power; ultimately pointing to Jesus Christ.
Gentle Jesus, who is compassionate and caring as the Good Shepherd, we ask Your help in walking Your path. May we be faithful and strengthened by Your guidance of love. We pray that we are able to serve You with our minds, hearts, and souls. Bless us with peace as we await the fulness of joy with You, the Good Shepherd forever. Amen.