Saturday, April 21, 2007

On being a sheep

Post for Sunday 29th April John 10:22-30

John 10:22-30

10:22 At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter,

10:23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon.

10:24 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."

10:25 Jesus answered, "I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name testify to me;

10:26 but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep.

10:27 My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.

10:28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.

10:29 What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father's hand.

10:30 The Father and I are one."

No image is fonder to traditional Christians than that of Jesus as the Good Shepherd.
Yet it is a foreign image which bears little relevance to most of us urban city dwellers.
Even in this country (Australia) the intimacy of the shepherd caring for a small flock of not the way we look after sheep.
They are in hundreds and thousands, largely left to their own devices
until the time comes for them to be killed or shorn.
So we need to look beyond the image and translate it to our modern times.
A couple of pointers
being a sheep is about belonging
It's only as we belong to Christ
that we understand and believe
  • This would suggest that the Good News is about the decision we make to be Christ's
  • And not so much about intellectual knowledge.

    As important as doctrine and learning are, life in Christ is actually about being in touch with the person of the Risen Christ

  • How might we be in touch?

    We need to maintain a deep commitment to personal and regular prayer. We will meet Jesus in so far as we encounter him in the early morning, and in the evening, this is a figurative way of looking at prayer of course. but we need to do it

    We will meet Jesus in the shared life of the Christian community. There are no solitary Christians...we are the Body of Christ, members of one another.

    in so far as we struggle with one another (difficult as we are) we are exploring the depth of relationship in Christ and coming to know Jesus in depth

  • The spirit of obedience

    Jesus could not be blunter..We hear his voice, and we do what he tells us. What is Christ saying to me in my life? Do I respond by doing what he tells me to do?

    What does the life of the Body of Christ say to me about what Jesus invites me to be and do? Do I do it?

  • Take some time to reflect on what I hear Jesus saying, through my prayer, through my life, through experience of community
  • What 2 or 3 things do I seem to hear Jesus saying to me about how to faithfully follow
  • What resistance do I have to obedience? What do I need to do about it?

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