Breath of Heaven, comfort us with new life and hope.

Breath of Life, empower us to act creatively and compassionately.

Breath of Peace, guide us in the way of love and truth.

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I assure you that whoever doesn’t enter into the sheep pen through the gate but climbs over the wall is a thief and an outlaw. The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The guard at the gate opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

John 10:1-3

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I wonder if you have a particular name that only certain people use – like a grandparent’s special nickname for you. As soon as you hear it, you perk up and focus your attention, for you know the person who speaks is a piece of home to you.

Today’s passage invites us to imagine a scene unfamiliar for most of us. But Jesus’ listeners knew the ways of shepherding. They knew that sheep, while often stereotyped as foolish animals, are actually quite smart. Sheep can recognize faces and voices. They can be trained to respond to a name, whistle, or even song. Whenever they hear it, they perk up and follow.

There are many voices competing for our attention in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis: news headlines, safety advice, online classes and online everything. Much of that is important and necessary; and yet, as people of the Living God, may we be rooted in the voice who calls us to be still and listen and to be faithful no matter the circumstances.

For the promise is this: the Good Shepherd shall lead us out. And for that, we give thanks and follow.

Aram Bae

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God, our Good Shepherd, will you please lead me out of a place of negativity, despair, worries, and doubts? Will you please lead me into a place of security, peace, and comfort? Guide me to trust in you. For you promise to lead me out when I listen to your voice and follow. In the trustworthy name of Jesus, amen.

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God the Shepherd, bless us and keep us.

God the Redeemer, smile upon us and be gracious towards us.

God the Spirit, lead us in the path of wisdom and peace.

And all of God’s people say: Amen.

Aram Bae

Aram Bae is the Associate Pastor for Youth & Mission at First Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, VA. She also adjuncts on occasion, teaching classes on faith development and religious identity. In addition to her passion for ministry with youth & families, she’s considering a new hobby—roller blading. #BringingBackThe90s #LordHaveMercy

Quiet as God

Carter Harrell

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