What does the voice of God sound like?
 – like a shepherd calling the sheep by name, of course. 
Every 4th Sunday in Easter we read these words of Jesus saying, ‘I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me.’
Comforting and confounding. Outside of the passion and birth narratives, which are repeated annually, we hear this text every year on this Sunday, over and over.
Last week in my sermon I said that it is in relationship that we experience resurrection. These words from John’s Gospel are proof for me. The Good Shepherd establishes this relationship. Jesus continually reaching out for us, looking for us, finding fresh water, good grazing, and safe lodging. Continually, always, and everywhere, that is indeed resurrection. 
Are there other relationships in your life where this attachment is found? I pray so. Sheep will stray and God is good. Sheep will get lost and the Shepherd still calls. I pray these are words of hope – that the Good Shepherd knows your name and calls you.
Listen for the call of the Good Shepherd reaching through the trials of life, through the difficulty of circumstance, through our isolation, through our anger. Beloved, life is hard and our compassion for those who suffer is stretched. Our strong desire to see the wrongs of the world righted, now feels limited! Because as people of God, we can hear God’s people cry, ‘how long Lord, how Lord’.
So, I pray that our relationships with each other and the Good Shepherd moves us to listen more, pray more, and respond to the Shepherd’s call to keep on keeping on. Our Good Shepherd, the relationship of the shepherd to the sheep is the most important relationship, more than an illustration, it is the extension of God’s desire for us to love as we are loved.
Al Green reminds me of how God is still calling me to come back home.

Rev. Alison +