Psalm 23 & John 10:11-18
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11
At What Cost
(click on the title above to listen to the sermon)
All of us have times in our life when we are pulled away from the life that we are called to live. Temptations surround us every day and because we are human we give in to those temptations from time to time. However, because we are children of God and we are blessed with those promises, we are forgiven – daily. A beautiful picture was painted for us with the words of Psalm 23. A picture that gives us a sense of comfort and strength knowing that our shepherd is walking alongside us through the good and the bad, the thick and thin, the hills and valleys. This picture is that of the good shepherd.
The Gospel story of the Good Shepherd gives us this feel good feeling of this shepherd who calls us back in when we stray, who protects from the evil things in life, and who ultimately lays down his life for US. Not just me, not just those that were in the pews on Sunday morning, but for all of us.
The gifts that we receive through our Baptism and Jesus’ death on the cross, are ones that we witness on a weekly basis. This past Sunday we welcomed, through the waters of Baptism, three young boys into the family of God. All of us will stray, all of us will have times in our life when we would much rather be anything but sheep, but that is where we get stuck. Because, whether we like it or not, we are always welcomed back with open arms by the loving, and caring Good Shepherd.
We just wanna be sheep, we just wanna be sheep. The shepherd our souls to keep, we just wanna be sheep.
Questions to Ponder/Discuss
1. When were you one of the lost sheep that needed to be called back home?
2. How does it feel knowing that the Good Shepherd is waiting with open arms to welcome you home when you have been lost or gone astray?
3. At what point in your life has the “grass looked greener” on the other side of the fence?
Who have been some of the shepherds (both good and bad) in your life?
The story of James Reddick, laying down his life for his children, really drove home the image and story of the Good Shepherd. Thankfully we are not faced with daily challenges like that. However take some time this week to discover ways that you can lay down your life for your friends, family and even the sheep that are not yet in the pen.
Live out the promises that you have been given through your baptism and the reminders we receive during Holy Communion.