A Season of Transition, a Season of Prayer — Please join us each day at 11:30 a.m. in offering a personal but collective prayer for our congregation. Today’s focus for prayer is: For the centering of our lives around a faith in Jesus Christ.
Scripture: John 10:1-18
Key Verse: 14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.
Reflection: Jesus would have read the twenty-third psalm and have known the power and association of saying: I am the good shepherd. He echoes the poetic power of that first line of the beloved psalm: The Lord is my shepherd.
In the biblical world, saying “God is my shepherd” is the same as saying “The Lord is my king, my sovereign, my authority.” God is the one who directs, the one to whom I am answerable, the one whom I trust and serve. Although we may deny and resist it, something in our life will gain our loyalty and allegiance and there are countless things that demand our attention, time and loyalty; but there is really only one who deserves it. There are many petty claims on our lives— many things that seek to define and control us and many things perhaps that we wish to be controlled and defined by, but the Lord is our good shepherd. It is Christ who will best define and lead us. It is the Lord of my life who can only truly direct my life. We need not sell ourselves short, or give in, or give way, or give up for “I am the good shepherd” Jesus says. In his service we find freedom, in his will we find purpose, in following we find joy.
It is a measure of maturity when we are able to make a decision— to let go of one thing in order to gain another thing greater. It is a sign of wisdom when we are able to resist being taken in a million different directions, following every whim and desire. When we open ourselves to God’s presence, when we claim the opportunities to discern and choose what is best, we plant ourselves in deep soil where we can really begin to grow. True freedom is found in commitment, community and fidelity. The Lord is my good shepherd. I have made my choice and that will affect all my other choices from here on in.
Prayer: God my good shepherd, lead me gently but persistently, so that I may hear my name in your voice and my call in your purpose. Amen.
Author: Derek Macleod
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].