The shepherd reminds us of simpler times and slower lives. Embrace the life of a shepherd today – living more simply, moving more slowly.
Stop and have a conversation you normally don’t have time for. At some point today, sit quietly with no screen for as long as you can.
Rest now in God’s goodness.
The time came for the Festival of Dedication in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple, walking in the covered porch named for Solomon. The Jewish opposition circled around him and asked, “How long will you test our patience? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
Jesus answered, “I have told you, but you don’t believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you don’t believe because you don’t belong to my sheep."
Generally, some people get it, and some don’t. You can tell this group of men doesn’t get it in how they phrase their question: “How long will you test our patience?” If they had any idea Jesus might be the Messiah, they would be on their knees in homage – not showing their impatience! These men had some power as religious leaders and weren’t giving that up for some risky scheme.
Jesus knew that some wouldn’t understand. When Jesus sends out the 70 in Luke 10, he tells the disciples that if a town doesn’t accept their teachings, they should wipe that town’s dust off their feet and move on. I get stuck here sometimes because I want everybody in. If only I explain my point long enough, surely they’ll see that Jesus is the answer. But then I relearn that the outcomes of my Jesus conversations aren’t my responsibility. I am called to share God’s good news, and what happens next isn’t about me or up to me. It’s in God’s hands – and God takes the long view.
God, thank you that you manage the details of when someone understands and accepts you as their salvation, or moves on to something different. This is comforting because even at my best, I bring my bias into any conversation and can be blinded by what I don’t know, or what I think I know. Thank you for providing opportunities for us to share with others that you care about them like a momma bird looking after her chicks. Amen.
As you leave this quiet space, moving on to what this day will bring, take the faith that God is with you, the trust that God is leading you, and the peace that comes from Holy contentment.