The Guardian of Our Souls
The sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice—the voice of the Good Shepherd! I truly hope that I am recognizing the voice of the Good Shepherd. These days, I want to be that sheep, chosen to hang on the neck of Jesus so that I can hear, understand and recognize the voice of Jesus.
So many voices compete for our attention these days. In the midst of this pandemic, we hear daily statistics of those stricken, those who have recovered and those who have died. We pray for those who sacrifice their own health to provide for others. Opinions about strategies and timelines differ. We ache to hear voices that say “What can I do to help” instead of competition for limited resources and endless blame. We long for healing and peace and the restoration of well-being not only for ourselves, but for the earth as well.
All of the readings this Sunday make reference to God’s work in our lives through the image, role and actions of the Good Shepherd. God is always seeking our attention, wants us to hear God’s voice. God chases us, pursues us, and reigns us in. The one that goes astray is chosen. Perhaps it is only when we hang around the neck of Jesus that we experience how he guards, protects, disciplines and conforms us.
When I/we return to the fold, when our churches are re-opened, how will we have changed? How will we have been “cut to the heart?” How will we daily accept Jesus as the guardian of our souls? “For you had gone astray like sheep, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.”
My favorite post discovered on Facebook this week: May we grow back not to what was but instead towards what we can become.