The Shepherd's Voice
Read John 10:14-18
"I am the Good Shepherd and know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep." John 10:14-15 (TLB)
"My sheep recognize my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish. No one shall snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else, so no one can kidnap them from me." John 10:27-29 (TLB)
Ted Rogers lives in Texas. From time to time a ewe will abandon her healthy lamb. Shepherds call such orphans "bummer lambs." When a shepherd encounters one, he picks it up, adopting it as his own. He bottle-feeds it and lets it sleep with its head on his chest, comforting the small creature by the sound of his heartbeat.
Ted and his wife once adopted a bummer lamb and took her to their house to care for her. Whenever they returned home, as soon as the tiny lamb heard their voices she would run to the door, bleating in welcome.
When the lamb grows to be a sheep, it takes its place in the flock; but the bond between it and the shepherd remains. When the shepherd calls the flock to come, the orphan will hear and respond to the shepherd's voice first, running to greet him, drawing the other sheep to the shepherd.
This reminds Ted of the Good Shepherd: "My sheep listen to my voice; and I know them, and they follow me." If you have ever been a "Bummer lamb," know this: though you have been wounded deeply, God will cherish you. When we listen for God's voice and are ready to follow God's call, we can help lead others to God's love/
Prayer: Dear Lord, may we hear your voice, know your will for us, and be quick to follow you, in Jesus' name. Amen.