Today is the Fourth Sunday of Easter; but it’s also known as Good Shepherd Sunday.  On this Sunday following Easter, a portion of Jesus’ proclamation from John 10, “I am the Good Shepherd,” is assigned.  This year, Good Shepherd Sunday falls on the Sunday we observe “Mother’s Day.”  So, Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and those serving in maternal roles.

          This is the 32nd Mother’s Day since my Mom James Ella Reid Finney, in the words of a former president, “slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.”  Of all the wonderful things I remember about my mom, it was her incredible memory, that I wish I had.  Any number asked of her she could remember.  As one of 12 children, she remembered all her siblings, their wives, and children’s dates of birth.  Incredibly she remembered the phone numbers of all her children, her siblings, and their children if she had ever heard it.  (This was before cell phones.) Mama had “instant recall.”  Unfortunately for me, I too often am stricken with my father’s “no call.”

          Numbers are very important in our lives.  The government knows us by our tax number. The state knows us by our driver’s license number. The bank knows us by our account number. When we get to the age of retirement, we are known by our Social Security number. And it goes on and on. In fact, sometimes it makes you wonder if anybody knows us at all without a number!

          That’s why the assigned gospel text is so significant, God does not know us by a number; as it tells us God knows us intimately, better than we know ourselves. Despite using the image of sheep and shepherd that is foreign to our experience, the Gospel shares a truth for us, a truth that our human hearts long to hear; along with this incredible promise by the Good Shepherd, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of My hand.” 

          Join us IN-PERSON, by Zoom or Facebook Livestream on this Good Shepherd and Mother’s Day Sunday.  We will honor the mother’s present and I will be preaching on “The Good Shepherd’s Promise” based on “Psalm 23” and John 10:22-30. 

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