By Diane Maupin of Lee’s Summit, MO, USA
My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one. —John 10: 27–30 NRSV
I have been told multiple flocks of sheep can mingle at a watering hole, but when one shepherd wants his flock to move on, he makes a sound, clucks the tongue a certain way, or speaks a word. His sheep recognize that sound, and only his sheep follow. They recognize their shepherd’s voice.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He said, “My sheep hear my voice…and they follow me.” Do we recognize his voice in the world?
We live in a world full of voices—voices screaming to get our attention. As disciples of the Living Christ we have to sort through that din of voices. We must listen carefully because not all those voices promote the principles we claim as a faith movement—principles such as Sacredness of Creation, Worth of All Persons, and Pursuit of Peace.
Some of those voices encourage fear, hate, separation, and discrimination. Some call for harsh judgment against ethnic groups and minorities, labeling people based on inaccurate views and stories we might hear or read in the news. We need to know the sound of our shepherd’s voice—and we need to listen to what that shepherd says.
God breaks through the loud, confusing noise of our world to speak words of hope, trust, and love, and as we hear the voice of the Shepherd, we are called to echo that voice. We are called to follow the voice of the Shepherd who invites us into life as disciples. We also are called to be shepherds—in a world that cries out for people who will take the responsibility of shepherding, caring for people and all of creation.
I have called you by your name, you are mine;
I have gifted you and ask you now to shine.
I will not abandon you; all my promises are true.
You are gifted, called, and chosen; you are mine.
—Daniel Charles Damon
© 1998 Hope Publishing Company
Community of Christ Sings 636
Prayer for Peace
Tender Shepherd, tune our ears to your voice, encouraging us to care. Tune our ears to the voice of those in need, encouraging us to share justice and peace.
Spiritual Practice: Voices of God
What is the voice of God saying to us? Do we hear the whispers of God’s longing for shalom, God’s dream of beauty and wholeness for all creation? Do we hear the “voice” of God calling to us in faces and eyes, in the sounds of suffering and joy, in scripture and sacred word, in tears and laughter, in silence and noise?
Spend a few moments reflecting on when and how God’s voice speaks to you. When did you first feel called to join God in the pursuit of peace and justice? How does the call of shalom continue to come to you through the many “voices” of God?
Today, God, I will tune out what diverts me from the path of the disciple.