Thursday, June 9, 2016

This Sunday @ Locust Hill UMC: Favorites: Words that Changed Our Lives

So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go 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.

Jesus choose the lowly image of a shepherd to display his relationship with his followers. He was their shepherd and they were his sheep. Jesus said, "my sheep know my voice." There is a certain comfort, safety, and freedom in the voice of the shepherd. The shepherd was invested, caring, and compassionate. I wonder what it means to hear the shepherds voice. What does it means to stay near the shepherd? We sometimes define freedom as being able to do, go, and exist the way we want. We can go anywhere if we wanted. For a sheep to go outside the bounds of a shepherd is risky and dangerous. There is no doubt as a Christian community we struggle with the basics so much so we'd rather not look at the mirror at our own faults. We struggle with loving those that hurt us. We struggle with praying for our enemies. We struggle with judgement. We struggle with pride. We struggle to be generous as we seek after the "more." What is holding us back from living into these simple teachings of Jesus? Are we not free to live into them? Or are we in bondage to ourselves and lack the capacity to hear the promise that the shepherd's voice offers us? 

I am the good shepherd...The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.