May 14, 2000

John 10:11-18 (CEV)

I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd gives up his life for his sheep. Hired workers are not like the shepherd. They don't own the sheep, and when they see a wolf coming, they run off and leave the sheep. Then the wolf attacks and scatters the flock. Hired workers run away because they don't care about the sheep.

I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep, and they know me. Just as the Father knows me, I know the Father, and I give up my life for my sheep. I have other sheep that are not in this sheep pen. I must bring them together too, when they hear my voice. Then there will be one flock of sheep and one shepherd.

The Father loves me, because I give up my life, so that I may receive it back again. No one takes my life from me. I give it up willingly! I have the power to give it up and the power to receive it back again, just as my Father commanded me to do.


1. Since Easter we have heard two touching-stories about Jesus coming to the disciples. There was the Thomas incident and the eating after the disciples heard from the women and didn't believe them and the two from Emmaus and they didn't know what to make of that, either.

2. Now we hear about other sheep than the disciples. Might that still be the case -- that there are others coming to join a new community of sheep/servants-to-one-another? Are you one who will be joined, whether you like it or not? Are you one who will join, whether you like it or not?

3. Either way, there is a new reality to be dealt with -- the shape of the pen is changing with every sheep. May Easter help you deal with the changes which are happening all around you so you don't get blinded by the pens of the past and forget to welcome or forget to try again.

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