Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Today’s text

John 10:11-12

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and the sheep do not belong to him, abandons the sheep as soon as he sees a wolf coming, and runs away, and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep.


There are things we do and things we are. Jesus is the good shepherd, the one who is unconditional commitment, unfettered love for his friends.

Love is not something he does. Love is what he is. It is his nature, his truth, the center of his being. It is not what he chooses to give here or there when the notion strikes him, but the essence of who he is.

So, too, it is the essence of our relationship with him.

There is no turning away for him. He is always turned toward us. His arm are always open, no matter what.

We turn away. We forget. We fail to care for our relationship with him.

Life gets busy, and we cut back where it is easiest. We give ourselves to everything that demands our immediate attention, surrendering to all that life and work seem to require of us.

Busy and distracted, we turn from our aching need to rest everyday in the One who is always good, in his protective love, in his receiving arms, in the quiet acceptance where we feel totally known and completely safe.

Life outside the arms of the good shepherd gets hard. Failures and disappointments whisper in the night. Grief and pains, heart wounds and future fears trouble our souls, and the empty ache within tells us we have neglected the one we most need.

We hunger for intimacy with the Good Shepherd, but we can’t feel him near because we have gotten out of the habit of putting first things first.

So we return, again, to the places where we know him, to the music where he sings his love into our soul, to the people whose voices resonate with the Love that fills him, to words of grace he speaks, to a picture or place whose beauty becomes his eyes of mercy looking right into our souls and filling us with the wonder of all that is in him.

Then, again, we know you, Jesus, and we know you are always good, a word which also means beautiful. You are the beautiful shepherd, whose beauty is the love you are, the love that beckons us to come and rest, to come and know the goodness of a peaceful heart where we are safe, totally safe.

In awareness of such safety, we know you, Jesus. We know what we need to know.

Pr. David L. Miller

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