So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
Having strayed from the path
darkness surrounds us the cold
biting and damp we huddle hoping
for one new morning.
We have been left on our own
with no map and no direction
the one who promised to lead us
deserted the whole flock.
We are wandering aimlessly
and stumbling through the night
crying out in hunger and hurt
we seek a loving shepherd.
On our own we follow fearful gossip
darting left then right
crashing into one another
never finding our way home.
A voice like welcome breaks through
the nigh is shattered by kindness
and caught in our deepest ravine
we look up to see new life.
In the middle of the night
in our worst folly and nightmare
in our headstrong wanderings
he is there.
In our lost moments of panic
on the city streets horns blaring
in the thickest brambles caught
he is there.