Daily Devotion for April 15, 2021

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.                                                                                          (John 10:2-10)
John used many metaphors to describe God and God’s relationship with us. The story of the sheep and the Shepherd is one that I most cherish and am touched when I think about God and my human condition and everyday life.  Psalm 23 and here in John describe who God is and how God cares for all our daily needs.  The metaphor for God here is the Gate, “I am the gate for the sheep.” The Gate provides safe sanctuary and “abundant life” for the sheep.
Sheep is the metaphor for humankind and our condition.  Sheep are wonderful creatures, but they are dependent on the shepherd for their well-being.  The Bible says we are “like sheep” and in many ways we are.  Sheep are vulnerable creatures.  They do not have sharp teeth or claws, horns or spiked skins to protect themselves from dangers.  They do not run fast, and they cannot hide.  They are living in the open where wolves, snakes and wild beasts are hunting.  Their survival depends on the shepherd.  The effect of the pandemic and our economic and racial tension today really put many of us in this sheep mode of reality.
Sheep have their vulnerable condition which limits their well-being and survival. Like sheep we are in need of God to lead and guide us more than ever, in our “coming in” and our “going out,” and for our community and our world.  We would be like sheep “going astray” if we do not follow the shepherd and we would be facing constant dangers.  There is a comfort in the shepherd and the going in and out through the gate, as Jesus said, “Whoever enters through me will be saved.  They will come in and go out and find pasture… that they may have life and have it to the full.”
Oh God, the good Shepherd, we are in need of your shepherding in all our daily living, our coming in and our going out.  Lead us and guide us how to live and how to love one another.  Protect us from the evils around us and in the world that everyone may have life to the full. Amen.