Students sitting outside Bockman
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Thursday, May 08, 2014

Next Day

The first sound I would hear on a cold winter morning on the farm was the sound of the milking machine motor bouncing off the buildings right into my second story bedroom. In the cold of the unheated house, I always hoped the sound would go away and let me sleep. I also knew the next sound would be the calling of my name—my name. The one who knew my name would not let me be. He would next say, "Let me hear your feet on the floor." I obey, one foot loudly on the floor, the rest of my body still clinging to the warmth and sanctuary of the large bed. Now the one who knows my name grips my ankles and pulls. I find myself kneeling prayerfully beside the bed.

In John we are reminded that Jesus is the one who "knows our name." And he does not give up. He keeps on opening the gate and pulling on our ankles so we can know and hear his voice. It is about listening. "He calls his sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them and the sheep follow him because they know his voice." It is grace poured out.

Dear Lord, you have called me by name. Open my ears to listen today and follow where you are leading. Amen.

Charles Berdahl
Aurora, Colo.
Master of Divinity , 1964

John 10:1-10 (NRSV)

1 "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.
2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.
5 They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers."
6 Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
7 So again Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.
8 All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them.
9 I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.