Sunday, May 8, 2011

May 15, 2011

Breaking Open the Scriptures

Scriptures for May 15th – Acts 2:42-47; Psalm 23; 1 Peter 2:19-25; John 10:1-10 Theme: Good Shepherd Sunday; Precious Lord – UMH 474

Psalm 23: This psalm needs very little explanation, we all know the psalm. It is a very important part of our faith. It is a psalm that we learned as a child, and say all of the time. But is the Lord really the shepherd that we trust with all of our lives? Do we follow wherever we are led? Do we trust God to actually get us through all troubles? What are we doing to live in the house of the Lord throughout eternity? This psalm could be read on many levels, this is not just a song about shepherd, but it is also a song about leaders. It is also a song about disciples, we are called to take care of God’s sheep, to make sure they are safe well fed, and well taken care of. We can share what we have in order to help others – that is the Lord’s work.

John: All of our scriptures today talk about the qualities of a shepherd. We all know that Jesus is our good shepherd. But in this scripture, Jesus does not say that he is the shepherd, he actually says that he is the gate by which the sheep enter into a safe place. There is a shepherd who had the job of standing by the gate as the sheep are coming and going. The gatekeeper counts the sheep and vouches that all are traveling together. Jesus is the gate to heaven for us. He makes sure that we get where we have to go. But we are like sheep, we know the directions, but we don’t want to follow them. Jesus has to watch us to make sure the we do what we need in order to get into heaven. When we get caught up into the things of life, it is easy for us to go astray and forget to listen to the shepherd’s voice.

Questions: What does this important psalm mean to you? What are the times that you read it for yourself? How do you seek to be a shepherd for others? There are a lot of voices out there calling for our attention, how do you recognize the voice of Jesus? When Jesus calls you, how do you respond? In what ways is Jesus a shepherd for your life?

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