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"THE DOOR OF THE SHEEP"

From the June 1949 issue of The Christian Science Journal


The shepherd and his sheep is a theme which runs through the pages of the sacred Scriptures. The children of Israel from the earliest period of their history were said to be keepers of sheep. Since the shepherd watches over his flock and safeguards it from danger, it is natural that he should be regarded as a type of guidance and protection.

To all Christians the term "shepherd" has a spiritual significance. Christ Jesus called himself the good shepherd. He reminded his followers that the good shepherd will give his life for the sheep; he knows his sheep by name, and they follow him. Doubtless our Master was familiar with the twenty-third Psalm, which in exquisite poetry describes the spiritual provision and protection of God, divine Love, who is the great Shepherd: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters."

The work of the shepherd is not only to protect, but to direct, for he guides his flock into the fold and safeguards their incoming and outgoing. In "Miscellaneous Writings" Mary Baker Eddy says (p. 9), "Well is it that the Shepherd of Israel passes all His flock under His rod into His fold; thereby numbering them, and giving them refuge at last from the elements of earth."

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