The Good Shepherd: Hearing His Voice ~ The Very Rev. Lady Sherwood, OPI

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Reading 1: Acts 4:8-12.

R Psalm: PS 118: 1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28, 29.

Reading 2: 1 JN 3: 1-2.

Gospel: JN 10: 11-18.

Our Lord tells us very clearly that his sheep hear his Voice. He knows them all and they follow him. He also tells us that not one of us can ever be snatched from His hand. The only way we shall leave his hand is if we deliberately turn away and choose to leave it. If we go astray, Our Shepherd will always come looking for us to return us safely to his fold. However, the Lord will never force us to return, he respects our freedom to choose, although he loves us so much.

It is essential as children of God to often ask ourselves if we indeed are truly hearing the voice of Our Lord and are truly following him. In today’s world, it is all too easy to get distracted, or to say we are truly listening to him by making excuses such as, “I attend church”, or ” I don’t  commit the bad sins of others”, but to truly  listen and follow takes far more than this. If we don’t listen to him constantly in our hearts and lives, and only listen to his voice either out of habit or routine, or only listen when we choose to do so, then we are not truly listening to his voice at all.

It is vital that if we are truly listening, that we have him as first in our lives. It is far too easy to get into a pattern of attending church, hearing the scriptures, and praying as a habitual routine, rather than truly taking the time to hear the Lord’s voice speaking to us.

When was the last time you opened and read the bible on your own accord? The Bible is full of love letters from God for us, and if we are truly listening to his voice, it tells us all we need to know. I don’t mean reading the bible out of habit, but to truly take the time to listen and to hear what the Lord, our Shepherd, is telling us.

Today, I wish to issue a challenge in the name of the Lord, that we ask ourselves honestly how hard we actually try to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd. We are called to listen, to follow, and to serve him, not out of habit or ritual, but because he is our true Shepherd, our Lord who loves us and who gives salvation to all who truly listen and follow him.

 

Let us pray:

Good Shepherd of the flock, you tend and feed and protect your chosen people and only ask us to listen and to put our trust in your loving care. As host, you welcome us to your table and anoint us with your Holy Spirit. Let us be ever thankful for your blessings O Shepherd and Saviour, and to always truly hear and follow your voice.

Amen.

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