Listen to the Good Shepherd
Stassi Cramm, Presiding Bishop, member of the First Presidency
I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.” -John 10:14-18
My husband and I don’t typically make a big deal about our birthdays. We are clearly at the age where we would prefer to stop counting. In 2016, my birthday was on the Friday just before World Conference started. I was busy with a million tasks and back-to-back meetings all day. I was weary knowing there was a long journey ahead. The fact that it was my birthday had totally escaped my memory.
My husband, young adult children, and parents were arriving for conference in the middle of my chaotic Friday. I had begrudgingly agreed to take a few minutes to greet them in my office over lunch before rushing back to my duties. I really didn’t feel like I had the time or the energy to do the whole “mom” thing but I did want to give them hugs as I hadn’t seen our daughter for months.
Arriving later than I said I would, I was preparing for an angry reaction to my tardiness. I knew the group would be anxious to go to lunch, and I knew I was holding them up. The door to my office was closed. I thought that was weird until I pushed the door open and was greeted with a scene of flowers, balloons, cake, and my smiling family. I was drawn into a loving community who knew me by name and loved me as I was. I was able to pause and simply receive their love and attention. The experience pushed aside my weariness and reenergized me for the journey ahead.
My family is part of my core community that is being Jesus’ hands and feet-my “good shepherd.” Who represents the “good shepherd” in your life?
“Every breath is a resurrection” (Gregory Orr).
Breath of Life
Take a few moments right now to breathe. Simply observe each inhale and exhale. Pay attention to how it feels in your body. Notice the rise and fall of your chest. Notice how you breathe even when you aren’t thinking about it, how your body instinctively knows how to keep you alive without your thought or effort. In this moment, you are alive. Receive this awareness as an expression of divine grace. In joy or despair, loss or celebration, your body continues breathing. How is your breath a resurrection this day?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.