|5/4/2017 9:00:00 AM|
GOOD NEWS FOR KIDS
FOLLOWING THE SHEPHERD
|PRAYER FOR THE WEEK|
Jesus, help me see who I can trust, even when my eyes are closed! Amen.
"Anyone who sneaks into a sheep pen is a robber," Jesus said; "but when the gatekeeper walks through the gate and calls his sheep, they know his voice and follow him. You're like sheep, and I'm the gate -- only people who come to you through me are safe to follow."
"Close your eyes," a friend or family member tells you. "I've got a surprise for you!"
Most of the time, that is an exciting moment. In those few seconds when your eyes are closed, you're filled with anticipation: What will the surprise be? It's got to be something good!
Of course, if you didn't trust the person, you wouldn't close your eyes in the first place. That's what this week's Gospel (John 10:1-10) is about.
Jesus talks about sheep and their shepherd. Sheep aren't the smartest animals on Earth, but they learn to recognize the people who take care of them. When the shepherd ("gatekeeper") calls them, they come to him.
The sheep also trust that the shepherd has good things for them: food, a warm place to sleep, a new field to go to where they can eat grass. The sheep know the shepherd is a safe person who keeps them safe.
If you're asked to close your eyes so someone can give you a surprise, you get excited because the person asking is usually a safe person who has something good to share. If the person were a stranger, you'd never trust him or her enough to close your eyes and wait for whatever happens!
Jesus addressed that in His Gospel story, too. He said that people who sneak into a sheep pen -- strangers -- can't be trusted. Only trustworthy people deserve attention.
If a friend wants to surprise you, you trust that the surprise will be something good. If Jesus, the "Good Shepherd," wants us to follow Him as easily as sheep go to their gatekeeper, it's a good idea to follow. We know the voices of the people who care for us, even when our eyes are closed!
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