FOR SATURDAY TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING: John 10:1-6
“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.” (John 10:1-2; Common English Bible)
In the midst of a season which is supposed to be filled with hope, peace, joy and love, our spirits have been shaken to the core by the tragic killings of innocent lives by Adam Lanza. Our world often fails to be a place where our fears do not get the best of us. We long for our Shepherd to keep us safe.
After the death of Osama bin Laden in May of 2011, Congregational minister Neil Chappel wrote these words which can speak to our lives today:
“And in the image of the sheepfold, the sheep pen, the field, there’s a real feeling of security, of warmth, of love. Of course, that is the greatest contradiction to the reality of the world in which we live. With people like Osama Bin Laden (or we could add the name of Adam Lanza today) roaming the world our sense of security is at its lowest, and we truly do not know what lies around the corner. But here is our calling. Not to retreat inward. Not to pull shut the church doors. Not to be all sanctimonious and holier-than-thou. But to show radical love. To reach out to all who are hurting, to all who are afraid, to all who are lonely, to all who are vulnerable, to even those who we consider our enemies. To offer hope. To offer peace. To offer joy. To offer God’s love” [http://aweirdthing.wordpress.com/2011/05/08/a-radical-love]
Prayer: Good Shepherd, only You can offer our world true peace and security. Remind us of our calling to show Your love which reaches to the core of everything and everyone. Amen.