Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tender Sheperd

Again the Jews were divided because of these words. Many of them were saying, "He has a demon and is out of his mind. Why listen to him?" Others were saying, "These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"
At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly." Jesus answered, "I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father's hand. The Father and I are one."
The Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus replied, "I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?" The Jews answered, "It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God." Jesus answered, "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, you are gods'? If those to whom the word of God came were called 'gods’—and the scripture cannot be annulled—can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, 'I am God's Son'? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father." Then they tried to arrest him again, but he escaped from their hands.
He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing earlier, and he remained there. Many came to him, and they were saying, "John performed no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true." And many believed in him there. John 10:19-42 
Today is our oldest daughter's birthday. Emily was born on Easter Sunday in 1978 and brought us so much love. She continues to bring us so many gift of love, laughter and life. From an early age she had a gift for music, a beautiful voice, and loved to sing with us. When she was little we would sing "tender shepherd" to her as a lullaby. It was sung in Peter Pan and became part of the musical score of our lives. Despite everything that challenges us, we can still sing  together remembering the tender shepherd who will not let us be snatched out of his hand.
Jesus is surrounded by religious leaders and theologians who want to argue with him and discount the work he has been doing. His answers rely simply on love and relationship - his love for the hurting people and his mission from his father. Love for the world has sent him and that love will keep safe the vulnerable, the needy and the lost. The leadership is worried about power. Jesus is worried about love and care. We are invited to make love and care the score of our life, the map, the way we go as we follow Christ.
Today I ask God to help me along the road of care. May all our work be in the care of others, no worrying about authority or power. May we sing and rejoice in every new day, given us by God, so that we might tenderly care for others.

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