At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon.So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered, “I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand.The Father and I are one.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
How attuned are you to Christ’s voice? How closely do you listen for it? Can you recognize it as a sheep would recognize a shepherd’s voice? What could you do to improve how well you listen? Do you need a good book, or just some peace and quiet? Do you need a ritual, like lighting a candle? Do you need other people, a prayer group? Do you need a husband or wife? Do you pray with children or grandchildren?
Jesus is not asking for perfection. A sheep learns its shepherd’s voice by making mistakes. Christ does not expect perfection anymore than a shepherd would expect perfection from the youngest sheep in the fold. If Christ is willing to be patient with you, how much more ought you to be patient with him? Can you give yourself the time and space you need to better learn his voice?
Christ is alive! Let Christians sing; the cross stands empty to the sky.
Let streets and homes with praises ring. Love drowned in death shall never die.
Christ is alive and comes to bring, good news to this and every age.
Till earth and sky and ocean ring, with joy, with justice, love and praise.
—Brian Wren, “Christ Is Alive” in Worship, Fourth Edition, © 20111, GIA Publications, Inc.
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