Jesus is our Good Shepherd
“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” John 10:3-5
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Hi Kids! How are you all doing? Hope you have been able to find some time to play outside, in between the raindrops. I used to play outside when I was a kid and I still enjoy being outside. I used to play outside with the neighborhood kids in summer sometimes until it was almost dark. We played badminton, kickball, freeze tag, and hide and seek. I played until I could hear my mother’s voice, calling me to come home. She has a unique way of saying my name and drawing it out. And she doesn’t have a soft voice like me. She is able to project. She would stick her head out the window or door of our house and say, “Ka-ren! KA-REN!” And I would come home right away. I didn’t hesitate cause it was my mom calling me. I know her and love her. I trusted her that if she was calling me, it was time to come inside and get ready for bed. If it was a stranger calling me when I was a child, I wouldn’t respond to them like I answer my mom. I might even be a little afraid of them and run away if they tried to follow me.
In our gospel reading today in John, Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd, and we are his sheep. You have probably heard that before! And maybe you’ve heard Psalm 23 read in church. It begins, “The Lord is My Shepherd.” In John 10, Jesus tells a story about his followers, saying, “The sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.”
I want you to know that Jesus isn’t a stranger to us. We can trust him. If you are very still and quiet and listen for his voice, you will hear it in your heart and know that it isn’t anyone else’s. It will give you a happy feeling inside. He loves us and calls us by name. He invites us to follow him, just like a Shepherd leads his sheep, guiding and protecting them from harm every day.
Will you pray with me?
Good Shepherd, thank you for calling us your sheep and calling us by name. Guide and protect us every day so we always walk in your loving ways. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.