This Sunday is the Fourth Sunday of Easter. It is also known as Good Shepherd Sunday as the sacred texts assigned are the familiar Psalms 23 and John 10.
They say that “variety is the spice of life” and I suspect it is true. Yet, the many choices that stand before us can be confusing. We need to learn how to wisely use the gift of free will, our ability to choose. This gift, if used constructively, can provide much good for our world, but if abused it can create untold grief.
Wisdom dictates that in order to use our gift of free will wisely, especially during this pandemic, we must ask ourselves some important questions concerning how well we follow Jesus, the shepherd, in the decisions we make.
What are the criteria that we use to make the important decisions of our lives? Where or to whom do we turn to seek guidance? Is it experts or those who speak to our political leanings? What place does God have in our decision making process? What responsibility do we feel for those God has entrusted to us? By following our lead, will people find the pasture of life? What choices have we made lately? Were they helpful and aided us along the path of life or were they destructive? If they were harmful, did we have the courage to change and make a better choice? When we make decisions are, they based solely on our needs and wants, or do we consider the desires of others?
Even amid all chaos, havoc and disruption to our lives, this pandemic has thrust upon us; we see what the sustaining grace that happens when people are guided by a shepherd of life and hope. We see incredible sacrifice on the behalf of others. That is the kind of shepherd Jesus wants to be for each of us. Getting to know this shepherd is as simple as saying “Gentle Shepherd, Come and Lead Me.”
Join us for worship on This Good Shepherd Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, by Zoom or livestream on Facebook. My sermon will be “Gentle Shepherd, Come and Lead Us” based on Psalms 23 and John 10:2-16.