5/3/20 – Called Out to Serve

Posted on : May 1st, 2020 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

“Called Out to Serve”

One of the most beloved images for the Holy One is of a shepherd. This isn’t surprising since raising and selling sheep was one of the most crucial ways to make a living in Biblical times.  From the image of “the Lord is my shepherd” in the 23rd Psalm to “in that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night” to herald Jesus’ birth, people of faith have found great comfort in this image of God/Jesus.  On this Fourth Sunday of Easter, we might as well call it “Sheep Sunday,” since our readings for this week every year have something to do with Jesus as the shepherd and us as his sheep.

This year, the text comes to us from John’s Gospel. We enter a scene  where Jesus has healed a blind man and the religious authorities question who he is and what he is doing.  In Sunday’s text, Jesus uses the image of sheep who are safe in their pen (the sheep fold) who are being called out by the shepherd.  This portion is followed immediately by the more well known remark of Jesus utilizing this shepherd image when he says:  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” {John 10:11}

But let me point out to you a key element of the texts that are used on these “Sheep Sundays” in the season of Easter. Most often, their focus is not on the shepherd but on the sheep! And this is where we enter the drama on Sunday morning.

What does it mean for us to hear Jesus say, “he {the shepherd} calls his own sheep by name and leads them out?”  What is Jesus calling us out to do?  I believe he is calling us to more life than just going out to graze in the next fertile field. I believe Jesus is calling us out to a life of service modeled after his own servant style of ministry.

Where do you feel called out to serve the great Shepherd of the sheep?

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Blessings,

 

Joe McGowan, Guest Preacher

 

John 10: 1-10
“He leads them out . . . .”

 

Jesus said:  “Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

 

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