Fourth Sunday of Easter
Listening to the Good Shepherd
Jesus is our shepherd and leads to the way of life. A clear truth spoken to in John’s Gospel—a truth, however, that is sometimes hard to grasp. How often do we look for other guides for life’s ultimate answers? How often do we look to a self-help book or political views as our ultimate guide and definer of what’s important?
As individuals and as church, we can find ourselves looking to other guides, listening to other voices. Congregations can strive to be like this or that other church, in order to gain members, money, influence, or power—instead of being who Christ calls them to be.
The only way forward for us is to listen to the Shepherd’s voice. In John’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of going on ahead of the sheep, and the sheep follow, because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger.
How do we listen to Christ as a church and as individuals? Cultivating time to pray and listen for Christ’s voice is vital, opening up the Scriptures to passages (even if they make us uncomfortable) is important, and listening to the Spirit of Christ present in the faith community is necessary. The only way forward for us is to cultivate lives and communities attentive to Christ’s voice and to follow.
Marian Boyle Rohloff, pastor, West Side Moravian Church
Green Bay, Wisconsin