Today’s Gospel reading is from the Book of John, Chapter 10. Jesus says the wonderful words, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
I love how Jesus says that with such confidence. He’s counting on us. He tells the Pharisees that “No one can take them out of my hand.” But He does NOT say that we can’t jump out of His hand, that we can’t wander off, become lazy or self-satisfied, foolishly self-reliant. No, Jesus does not say any of these other things because they wouldn’t be true. And Jesus will never lie to us; He only knows how to speak Truth.
So, it’s up to us to stay attentive, to stay close, to stay active in our faith life, in our relationship with the Lord, and to remember that we remain dependent on the Lord. Because we are totally dependent on Him. We can pretend like we’re in charge, but that’s foolishness. We can’t add a minute to our lives, we can’t rely on our next breath or beat of our heart. We can’t see a virus that can enter into our bodies, or stop a tornado from tearing down our home.
We mere mortals? We are in charge of nothing. And, if you disappeared tomorrow, people would be sad and miss you. But life would go on with out you. All your plans would continue in some different fashion than you’d planned. But they’d go on. God sustains all of us and the whole universe. Remember that next time you start to think you have any power or are self-sufficient.
Instead, be grateful, be humble, be kind. And follow the Shepherd, follow our Amazing Leader who will not lead us astray. He’s got you in His hand and Jesus will never drop you or throw you away. But He will let you jump out or climb out, if that’s your desire. Because He wants us to choose God, to choose abundant life, to choose grace, peace, hope, and mercy. I can’t think why anybody wouldn’t, because God chose us first, loved us first. But it happens. And it’s tragic when it does.
Jesus never loses sight of you. Let’s try to never lose sight of Him or His love for us. “The Lord is my Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want…” Isn’t that awesome?
Here’s a song I have loved for almost 40 years. It’s by the late Keith Green and it’s a beautiful rendition of the 23rd Psalm. Be still, and listen.