getting out the WORD - the fourth sunday of easter PDF Print E-mail

the PRAYER...
O God our shepherd, you know your sheep by name and lead us to safety through the valleys of death. Guide us by your voice, that we may walk in certainty and security to the joyous feast prepared in your house, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING...
[Jesus said:] "Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.

John 10:1-10

For the good doctor, there are only two ways of looking at Jesus - either as example or as gift. The first option is all about us. Our thoughts and words and deeds! All shoulds and oughts and musts. Our life - according to this way of thinking - is about us. But that second way - as gift - is all about god! Grace and mercy! Forgiveness and love! Unearned! Undeserved! Unconditional! Our life is in god's hands! Certain and sure! Always! Forever!

And I wonder if Luther didn't get that view, here, from this week's gospel. On the one hand, there are the strangers and the bandits and the thieves who take the kingdom by violence, force; stealing, killing, destroying. On the other hand, is Jesus, the good shepherd! Calling by name! Leading out! Going ahead!

Example versus gift! Commandment verses promise! Law verses love! And only one brings life! Brings it abundantly, extravagantly, even prodigally!

Bob Barndt, pastor

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