Find stillness, right here.
The Shepherd is waiting to lead you into rest, now.
“I have other sheep that don’t belong to this sheep pen. I must lead them too. They will listen to my voice and there will be one flock, with one shepherd.
“This is why the Father loves me: I give up my life so that I can take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I give it up because I want to. I have the right to give it up, and I have the right to take it up again. I received this commandment from my Father.”
Not all sheep look like fluffy white clouds on legs. Sheep come in white and black and gray and every shade in between. They come in medium brown and palest light brown and dark bronzy brown and spotted and dappled and sometimes a jumble of many sheepy colors on one fleecy body. Some of them graze in green pastures by still waters, others on windswept rocky mountains overlooking icy seas, others in the desert.
It is easy to forget (sometimes we may even choose to forget) that not all followers of the Good Shepherd look like us or pray like us or worship like us or eat like us or learn like us. Not all followers even speak our language, but they can all — we can all — hear the Shepherd’s voice and recognize his call. Jesus willingly gave his life for all who listen, in every shade and in every language and from every terrain. He shepherds us not because he was forced to do it or paid to do it, but because every unique sheep in his one flock is beloved.
I’m following you today, God, with gratitude for all who walk along with me. Thank you for calling us together! Amen.
Ready? Stand up.
Gather yourself, take courage, reach out, walk on.
The Shepherd is leading, and the world is waiting!