Early in the spring, before the Shepherd led his flocks from their lowlands pastures and before their long trek through the dark valley, the Shepherd walked the path up the valley by himself.
All alone, the Shepherd slowly walked over every inch of ground. Every so often, he stooped and pulled out a plant that was poisonous to his sheep. It was back-breaking and feet-aching work, but the Shepherd willingly walked the pasture to clear the way for his sheep.
When he had searched the entire pasture for poisonous plants, he filled in the holes made by rodents and snakes. A sheep could break its leg if it stepped in one of these holes. It was back-breaking and hand-aching work, but the Shepherd willingly hauled the dirt and filled the holes to clear the way for his sheep.
When all the holes were filled, he got rid of all the poisonous snakes and chased away the wolves that lurked in the mountains waiting to eat the sheep. It was back-breaking and shoulder-aching work, but the Shepherd willingly faced the dangers to clear the way for his sheep.
When the pasture in the tablelands was prepared, the Shepherd led his sheep through the dark valley into the mountains. In the tablelands he had prepared, the sheep were safe and satisfied.
Questions to think about:
- Read Psalm 23:5 and Hebrews 4:15–16; 12:1–3 by yourself or with your parents. How did Christ prepare the way before us?
- Which sacrament is the sign and seal of Christ’s sacrificial work in preparing the way before us?