John 10:11-18 (NRSV)
It is good to be known and still loved. There aren’t many people to whom you can reveal your flaws and failures comfortably. It is a gift to have a relationship that is strong enough to bear such honesty.
The Good Shepherd claims that kind of intimacy with his sheep. The Lord knows us completely and loves us enough to lay down his life for us. Those who are only doing their job don’t have the connection that’s crucial for a deep commitment. A teacher who only loves his paycheck and not the children; a surgeon who only loves her reputation and not her patient; a mayor who only loves his position and not his community. All of them are like a hired hand who won’t protect the sheep from the wolves.
The Lord is clear that he has the power to take his life up again. That Easter power reveals God’s triumph over death.
Devoted Shepherd, your faithful love sustains us through all our experiences. Work in us your way of unconditional acceptance that we may help sustain others. Amen.