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The Seeking Shepherd

April 12 2017
April 12 2017


With heart-piercing beauty, Christina Rosetti reminds us on this Holy Week that even our capacity to appreciate the anguish of Christ's suffering on the cross and to rest in its momentous achievement is a work of God's saving grace. We remain dependent upon his sovereign initiative. Left to ourselves, our hearts remain stony and indifferent to Jesus' costly love. Yet, when they are stricken with God's unyielding truth and mercy, living waters begin to gush in heart-felt wonder, thankfulness and praise. The Good Shepherd is both the destination of our heart's deepest desires and its life-giving, rock-striking source. "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you" (James 4:8).

Good Friday

Am I a stone, and not a sheep,
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross,
To number drop by drop
Thy blood’s slow loss,
And yet not weep?
Not so those women loved
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;

Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved;
Not so the Sun and Moon
Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
A horror of
great darkness at broad noon

I, only I.
Yet give not o’er,
But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
And smite a rock.

Christina Georgina Rosetti (1830 –1894) was an influential English poet who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional and children's poems, including the words of the Christmas carol "In the Bleak Midwinter." A major influence and drive for Rossetti’s writings was her devout religious belief. She worshipped at Christ Church, Albany Street in London.

Photo credit: Stained glass window in the Little Church of La Villita in downtown San Antonio; Ken Schulze/


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