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"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
Sir Winston Churchill



John 10:1-21
The Shepherd and His Flock

1 I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.
2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.
3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice.
6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.
7 Therefore Jesus said again, I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.
8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.
9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
12 The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.
13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me,
15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life, only to take it up again.
18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.
19 At these words the Jews were again divided.
20 Many of them said, He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?
21 But others said, These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?

Sometimes, that's all I need to hear. The voice of my Master; defending me, laying down His plan for me, His love for me; calling me in, caring for me. It reminds me of a father, calling his little child in from play to come prepare for the evening meal.

I am His little sheep.

This passage has always made me tear up. I can imagine His voice in my head. I tremble with fearful anticipation for the day when I will hear it in reality. I know it will exceed my expectations. It will not be anticlimactic. It will be perfect, heart-searing, welcoming, enveloping, melodic. There is no disappointment with God when we see face to face.

But now we see through a glass darkly. And sometimes we do not see at all. Still, this mechanism we must now obey started ticking at the Fall. And God has let it continue. He knows the purpose. He will never leave us.

The world may call Him demon possessed, mad, just a man, just a great teacher. And we may even doubt sometimes. But when we hear His voice, echoing in our hearts, we know. He is not just those things. He cannot be just those things. He is our Good Shepherd. The only one Who cares for us. The only one Who knows the way home.


Anonymous karen said...

Hey, WG. Glad to see your post. Always beautifully done w/your whole heart.

Our priest gave a sermon on this Gospel and it was so cool because even though some parables are figuretive: vine and branches, wheat and chaff... this one is actual factual. Sheep heed the voice of their master, and not a stranger's voice. Cows are the same way only sometimes they don't heed so well. I guess neither do we :).

Sheperds are the gate as well. They lie down in the opening of the pen, to protect w/their bodies and prevent escape or anything harmful from entering.

And, I can't tell you how many times we hunt after *lost* cows up here, especially when they give birth. They hide in the darndest hiding places. One cow was *missing for over 24 hrs, she's like a deer every yr when she calves.

This is why it isn't hard for me to believe that Christ is the Bread of Life. Our ancestors ate manna come down from Heaven, just as Catholics believe they do at Mass.

4:58 PM  
Blogger WordGirl said...

"Our ancestors ate manna come down from Heaven, just as Catholics believe they do at Mass."

Interesting. I've never heard that parallel before. Like it.

I envy you with the cows. I would love to live on a farm. 'Course, I would have to live there *without* MF... He wouldn't stand for all that. "Country girl marries city boy", that sort of thing.



7:27 AM  

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