I go into the world this morning wondering whose voice those around me hear when I speak. When I come to the gate and call, is it the voice of a thief and a brigand? Am I really committed to the life and the health of God's people?
If I live the Christian life, I want to speak Jesus, act Jesus, live Jesus. It's the only thing that makes sense, if he is who he is to me.
I want everyone to hear a voice of love, to encounter an embrace of mercy, to feel a touch of love. The Resurrection of Christ has made this real in my life, and furthermore has made it possible for me to be a part of making it real in the lives of others.
So, it is possible for others to be healed by Christ's power through me. It is possible to encounter mercy, guidance, protection, if I accept the Spirit of the Father and of the Son in my heart.
But I know it does not always happen. I am still looking for the fleshly easy way, in spite of God's patient grace for me. I still put myself first, sometimes willfully, sometimes without even noticing it.
What will others hear from me if I'm trying to make my self more important, more in charge, more satisfied?
What will they hear from my selfish self but words of coercion, manipulation, shame? If I serve myself, how can I not live as a thief and a brigand to others?
When I do not speak mercy, when I strive to control, I only come to steal, to kill, to destroy.
This week, I want Christ to be heard in my voice. I want those around me to receive the message of the Good Shepherd, to come and go freely, to find good pasture.
When I speak words of mercy, of compassion, of healing, and when I speak from within the heart of the Good Shepherd who loves me, they will recognize his voice, even if they cannot name it.
May I only ever enter the lives of others through the gate, may all those I meet only ever be safe.
John 10:1-10 ©
‘I tell you most solemnly, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, but gets in some other way is a thief and a brigand. The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock; the gatekeeper lets him in, the sheep hear his voice, one by one he calls his own sheep and leads them out. When he has brought out his flock, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow because they know his voice. They never follow a stranger but run away from him: they do not recognise the voice of strangers.’
Jesus told them this parable but they failed to understand what he meant by telling it to them.
So Jesus spoke to them again: ‘I tell you most solemnly, I am the gate of the sheepfold. All others who have come are thieves and brigands; but the sheep took no notice of them. I am the gate. Anyone who enters through me will be safe: he will go freely in and out
and be sure of finding pasture. The thief comes
only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come
so that they may have life and have it to the full.’
Ryan LeBlanc, B.A., B.Ed., M.A, is a career classroom teacher, learning leader, and workshop facilitator. Now, his cutting-edge educational methods and years of practical experience with thousands of learners is available through his comprehensive online courses.