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“Jesus Healing the Woman with an Issue of Blood”; mosaic in the Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo (sixth century), Ravenna, Italy.

Jesus the Good Shepherd Psalm 23; John 20:11-18 My favorite image of Jesus is as the Good Shepherd.

In John 10, the Good Shepherd tells us that he knows his sheep and his sheep know him, and that he leads them forth by calling each by name. Hearing their names spoken by a familiar voice, they follow him. Te key elements in this passage are voice and name. One of my favorite Bible stories where this is lived out

The woman who touched Jesus Mark 5:25-34 Scripture doesn’t reveal to us how old she was, nor

does it give her name. It does confirm she had been dealing with chronic hemorrhaging for years and not getting better. In biblical times, a bleeding woman was considered unclean and untouchable, ostracized from family and community, and perhaps even dependent on charity for a living. I can only imagine how alone she must have felt. It’s easy for me to empathize with the woman’s situa-

tion and her desperate need to find healing and whole- ness. In boldly touching Jesus’ garment she expressed her faith that he was the one who could help her. And he did. What endears me to this story is the

woman’s boldness in approaching Jesus— no words, simply a touch made the connection for her. Jesus’ loving response and her courage remind me that anyone can approach the Lord with a problem. Even me.

Vivian J. Becker, Arlington Heights, Ill., is a retired pastor. She attends St. Mark Lutheran Church, Mount Prospect, Ill.

is the meeting of the Good Shepherd and one of his sheep on Easter morning, as told by John. Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus’ sheep, was crying outside the empty tomb when Jesus appeared. She mistook him for the gardener and didn’t recognize his voice. Ten came the Good Shepherd moment. Jesus drew near and spoke one word—“Mirjam” (Mary). Hearing her name uttered in that familiar voice, Mary exclaimed, “Rabbouni” (teacher). Tis was the “aha” moment. Jesus knows us and calls us by name. Tis story is so dear to me that when I visited the

Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem in 1977, aſter climbing the Calvary steps and then standing inside the empty tomb, I made a brief visit to the chapel that marks the traditional site of this sacred encounter.

Terrance J. Thompson II of Coconut Creek, Fla., attends three Christian congregations in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“Do Not Hold on to Me”

(2013); Japanese gouache color and Chinese ink on Korean rice paper

by He Qi (1948-; Chinese). 20


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