Day 28 - Consolation
John 10: 2-10
‘The one who comes through the entrance is shepherd of the sheep … And the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he drives out all his own [sheep], he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger – they will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers … Amen, Amen, I tell you that I AM the sheep’s entrance. All who came before me were thieves and brigands. But the sheep did not hear them. I AM the entrance, through me if anyone enters, they will be saved; and they will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief only comes in order to steal and slaughter and destroy: I came in order that they might have life, and have it abundantly.’
It is so easy for us to forget this promise of Jesus, from a discourse to the Pharisees recorded in John’s Gospel. Jesus is talking to them about religious authority and how it can be abused by false leaders, he explains that he is the good shepherd and that the sheep recognise his voice. Life to the full is what the Good Shepherd offers the sheep, whereas the thief has come to destroy and steal. This is such an attractive promise to us, in our busy and distracted world. We hear so many promises every day, most of which, we know, will turn out to be empty and we will be disappointed, yet they hook us in. Like the sheep, we need to listen for Jesus’s voice, recognise him and stay close to him. Then a life that is worthwhile, a life that is true, a life that is complete and a life of joy will follow when we stay close to Him.
Shepherd of my heart, keep calling to me amidst the many noises of my life.
Send me friends who will help me to listen for you voice.
Let me stay close to you, so that when the wolves and the thieves come I will feel safe.
But most of all show me how to live life to the full so that others will be attracted to me
and I can introduce them to you, my closest friend.