Fourth Sunday in Lent: Chanukkah–Feast of Dedication

I and the VillageIllustration:  “I and the Village,” by Marc Chagall, oil on canvas, 1911.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).

Jesus makes it clear what it takes to walk the path of Life. He uses a shepherd/sheep analogy to describe the relationship we have with Him. A shepherd teaches his sheep to distinguish his voice from anyone else’s, so as to protect them from following a false shepherd. His concern is for their safety. A shepherd will protect his sheep at even the risk of his own life.

To be called sheep is not necessarily a compliment. Sheep are fairly dumb animals who cannot accomplish anything for themselves. If a sheep falls, it cannot even stand up without the help of the shepherd. That is our situation exactly. There is nothing we can do to help ourselves. We must listen to our Shepherd’s voice and follow Him. His role as leader is not commander, but servant. He leads us through serving us, and because of His service, we are dedicated to Him.

The Feast of Dedication is  a time to remember the dedication of the temple, but also gives us an opportunity to examine our own dedication to God. If we listen to His voice and follow Him, we are sure to be led safely on the path of Life. But if we stray, we risk our lives. False shepherds will call us. But the Shepherd who served us with His life and death now serves us in His resurrected life and continues to calls us. Listen to His voice as He leads us in the path of Life.

Prayer:  Avinu, Malkenu, Our Father, Our King, thank You for sending Your Son to serve us as our Shepherd. Tune our hearts to His voice, and help us to listen always. In Y’shua’s name, Amen.

Ponder the path:  False shepherds call us from the radio, television, movies, books, and friends. Are you listening to the true Shepherd who calls to you from God’s Word, and leads you through the Holy Spirit? He will never lead you astray.

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