Monday, April 23, 2018

Good Shepherd Sunday

 ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care 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. I have other sheep that do not belong to 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 in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.’ John 10:11-18

I am blessed to know a few shepherds in my life. They know my name and watch out for me, praying for me and my ministry, helping me to walk a path of love and service. They find me shelter and strength when I am feeling lost and afraid. I also have the joy of being a shepherd to some. They are so loved by me, cherished and committed to my daily prayers. I have watched them grow in strength and spirit and rejoice with them in every step along their way. 

Jesus tells the disciples about the his love for all the people in his care. It is not the concern of a hired hand, but the love and care of a good shepherd. We are to know that even in our darkest moments, when we are feeling lost and abandoned, Jesus is already seeking us out, walking towards us in our deep darkness.

This week, I ask God to help me seek the Good Shepherd's direction in everything I say and do. May we all live as trusting sheep of this Good Shepherd, knowing we are cared for and loved beyond all our imagining.

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