April 22, 2018

April 24, 2018

Summary

Misericordias Domini John 10:11-16, 27-30

Jesus says, “I Am the Good Shepherd.” And that means we are His sheep.

There is a relationship that Jesus He has created between Him and us; a relationship of

concern of compassion and of love, a relationship of a shepherd for his sheep. This

relationship was established when He made us to walk beside still waters of Holy

Baptism; there He restores our soul. He anoints our head with oil, our cup runs over.

There is nothing the Good Shepherd will not do to protect, defend, and provide for His

sheep. He even goes so far as to search out those who are not part of His sheep fold,

that they too can benefit from His bountiful goodness, walking beside the still waters.

The Good Shepherd’s whole purpose is to call, gather together, enlighten, sanctify and

keep us, His sheep, in His loving arms. Nothing else matters.

The Good Shepherd opens His hands to richly and daily provide for all sheep. He wants

to be in a relationship with all sheep. He wants all sheep to lie down in the green

pastures He has prepared for them. He wants them to hear His voice and follow Him.

The Good Shepherd speaks and we listen. We hear in His voice, the words of great

love, and we follow Him.

The Good Shepherd knows our name and He calls us by name; He has given us our

name, we belong to Him.

We know His name and we call upon it in every time of need, through prayer, praise

and the giving of thanks.

The Good Shepherd lays down His life for His sheep. Jesus willing suffered and died for

His sheep, rather than His sheep suffering the same fate.

The Good Shepherd willingly suffered and died for His sheep, so that His sheep would

not be led astray and scattered; that His sheep would no longer be apart from His

flock.

We see the Good Shepherd’s great love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Jesus

suffered and died for us. He took the pain and the punishment we deserved so that we

would not have to.

The wolf, prowls around looking for whom he may devour, but he has no power over

us. The devil’s ravenous fangs no longer have any bite, they cannot hurt us. The old evil

foe’s wicked desires are defeated, they cannot draw blood. Because of Jesus the Good

Shepherd, we are victorious, we are not afraid. His right arm protects and guides us.

The Good Shepherd does not run away from us when the wolf comes prowling around.

He stays near to us, He is with us always, never leaving or forsaking us.

And no matter how many times we go astray and wander off, no matter how many

times we fall into sin, He seeks us out, that He can put us on His shoulders and carry us

to safety. He never stops searching.

As His sheep, we fear, love and trust in our Good Shepherd above all things. We are

not in want. His rod and HIs staff they comfort us. Nothing can snatch us out of His

hand.

Sin, death and hell are no more, now belongs to us forgiveness, life and eternal

salvation.

The Good Shepherd is there to open His mouth and speak words of forgiveness to us.

We are at peace.

The Good Shepherd is there to open His hands and feed us with His very body and

blood, that we would be nourished and strengthened, that we can fight the good fight

of faith, that we can live before God in righteousness and purity all the days of our life,

that we can walk through the valley of the shadow of death, fearing no evil.

You shall have no other gods before Me, we do not keep this commandment. We do

not love God above all things. We do not fear, love and trust in God above all things.

We do not love our neighbor as we love ourselves. We commit idolatry. We have one

god whom we place over the one true God and that is ourselves. We are our own god,

our own shepherd.

We do not want the Good Shepherd to look after us. We don’t want Him looking over

our shoulder. We want to take care of ourselves, providing for ourselves, deciding

what is right and wrong for ourselves.

We run away. We jump out of the sheep pen. We jump over the gate, which is meant to

protect us, which we think is there to punish us. We want nothing to do with the flock

of sheep which the Good Shepherd has worked so hard to gather together.

We do not want to listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd. We think He is holding

out on us, that there is something better, that the green grass is better in another

pasture. We do not want Him to search after us. We do not want Him to richly and

daily provide for us. We don’t think we are really that bad, at least compared to the

other sheep, and so we don’t think we need to repent and try to do better. We don’t

want His rod and staff to comfort us.

We don’t think about how evil and deceitful the devil is. We don’t think our sin is that

severe. We don’t believe hell to be real, not really. And if it is real, the Good Shepherd

won’t really send us there. We don’t want to be told no. We think everyone will get

into heaven, if we want it enough, even though our Good Shepherd says otherwise.

But, what if the Good Shepherd did not search you out? What if the devil devoured you

and drug you to hell and Jesus did not care?

What if the Good Shepherd wasn’t there to help? What if He let you live your life as you

please? What if He did not care about you and left you alone and naked and hungry

and hurting and dying?

What if the Good Shepherd did not speak to you or listen to your cry for help? What if

He did not care about you? What if the Good Shepherd did not lay down HIs life for the

Sheep and raise it up again, that we would have forgiveness, life and eternal salvation?

We expect the Good Shepherd to be there when we need Him, but what if He wasn’t?

What if He let us have our way, and forgot about us, and like the hired hand ran away

when the wolf showed up?

What if we were scattered and left to fend for ourselves against our enemies and in the

vale of tears?

What if? But thanks be to Jesus, our Good Shepherd, there is no “what if”. Our Good

Shepherd never leaves us or forsakes us. He does not run away and forget about us.

His whole purpose is for our very good and perfect forgiveness, life and salvation. He

does search us out and places us on His shoulders to bring us back and restore us to

our proper place in His sheep pen, to lie down in the green pasture, where we are

richly blessed. The life we live, because of Jesus’ love, we live in faith, never doubting

that our Good Shepherd is with us unto the end of the age, always wanting to be where

our Good Shepherd is, hearing His voice and receiving the good gifts from His

generous hands. The life we live, as sheep of the flock, seeks perfection, desiring to

grow in fear, love and trust toward the Good Shepherd. The life we live, grows in faith

and love toward the other sheep. The life we live, as sheep of the flock, never wants to

go astray, but desires to be near the Good Shepherd, receiving His gifts of grace,

mercy and peace. Amen.