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Following the Good Shepherd

May 11, 2019

Instead of a picture of sheep and a shepherd, I thought that I would share this beautiful moment we were a part of near Sprague Lake last Fall. Mama Moose, just like the Good Shepherd, leads her young to safe places and nurtures her family.

Having watched enough of our wildlife neighbors here in the Rockies for the last three plus years, I also have experienced the bond between Mama and her young ones. When Mama speaks, the young one hears her voice. Just as each Bull Elk bugle is distinct, so to is the voice of the Mama. This reminds me of what Jesus told the people gathered at the Temple in John 10:27 — My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.

In order to follow the Good Shepherd, we must listen for and hear his voice. Sometimes it is like the still small voice which Elijah heard in the wilderness. Sometimes it is that gentle nudging we sense deep inside of us as we sit quietly in contemplation and wait for the Lord to speak. Sometimes it is through the voice of another calling us to God’s work.

On the other hand, there are plenty of voices screaming for our attention today. Many of those voices disguise themselves in the clothing of the shepherd while their main intention is to fleece the sheep! Many of those voices are filled with hatred, bigotry, and fear.

Which voice will you listen to, dear reader? Whom will you choose to serve this day in the words of Joshua? There are many competing voices in the world today. How can we possibly discern the voice of the Good Shepherd?

In the words of Micah the prophet, I believe we can find the litmus test: He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Another litmus test is found in the words of our Lord as he summarized the Law and the Prophets: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Following the Good Shepherd isn’t always easy… we aren’t always walking besides still waters… we aren’t always lying down in green pastures.

However, if you are loving God and loving Neighbor… if you are Doing Justice, Loving Kindness/Mercy, and Walking Humbly with God… you are following the Good Shepherd. May we walk with the Shepherd each and every day.

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