Reading: John 10:1-10
Verse 3: “The sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”
In this week’s John 10 passage Jesus uses the shepherd-sheep analogy. In verse 3 the shepherd tells us, “The sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” Sheep learn the voice of their shepherd. They follow that voice because they trust their shepherd. As a group – that’s the natural tendency for sheep – they go where the shepherd leads. This is a good analogy for us too. If we trust Jesus, then we try and follow his voice, whether that is his words and example in the gospels or if it is the nudge and whisper of the Holy Spirit. Luke sheep we too tend towards community and connection with one another. But not always.
In both Matthew’s and Luke’s gospel they tell the story of the lost sheep. Yes, at times a sheep can wander. There are a number of reasons that this can happen. We wander too. We can be hurt so isolation or withdrawal seems safest. We can pursue or get caught up in worldly things. Then we create distance to avoid being held accountable or because we feel guilty. We meander off. Yet the Good Shepherd still seeks us out, still tries to bring us back into the fold.
As many of us prepare to enter into a community today to worship and praise, to be filled and renewed, let us not forget the lost. May we make efforts to include those outside the flock, for whatever reasons. May it be so.
Prayer: Lord God, I am grateful that I heard your voice. I am thankful that I have grown to know it more and more. Yet I too know that I have and still do wander. I’ve been hurt and withdrew. Thank you for never giving up on me, for always calling me back to you. Use me to do the same for others. Amen.