The Missing Piece

(Continued from last post. Read John 10.12) So in Jesus’ story, what was the hired hand missing? What does the shepherd have that the hired hand doesn’t? Faithfulness. According to Jesus’ story, the hired hand sees the wolf and leaves the sheep vulnerable, while the shepherd with courage and faithfulness stays with the sheep when the wolf approaches. The hired hand runs away, while the good shepherd “lays down his life for the sheep.”

Our shepherd Christ has called us to be like him. Even though there is only one Shepherd, we “sheep” are called by Christ to be faithful to one another when it is hard to stay committed; to watch over one another when it is easier to run away; to care faithfully with respect and listening, even when many around us are shouting; to love whatever folks are near us, even when it is hard to love. Why? Because our shepherd Christ loves a very difficult world.

We are the faithful Shepherd’s community for whom he died to give us life. Faithfulness is a precious gift in a world that easily drops its commitments and runs. If we have the Shepherd’s mark upon us, faithfulness to one another in our work and mission together comes directly from the One who is faithful to us.