Wednesday, March 25, 2020
As a child, I always loved visiting my grandmother’s house in the little community of Mooreville. One of the big highlights of any visit was going down the road either at 7:00 AM or 4:30 PM to watch old Mr. Hahmann move his sheep. Every morning, he would move the sheep from their pens behind his house, across the street to the old schoolyard, where they grazed the day away. Each afternoon, he moved them back.
What I always remembered, however, was how he would call them every afternoon. He would call them with a lyrical sound that was unique to him, and they would finish their journey from the back of the schoolhouse to the front gate. He would open the gate and they would go without complaint back to their enclosure for the evening. There was something about his voice.
Jesus suddenly finds himself surrounded by religious leaders, and he is being questioned. “If you are the Anointed One (Messiah), then just tell us.” Jesus responds, “I have told you, yet you still don’t believe. You don’t believe because you don’t belong to my sheep. You are unable to hear my voice. My sheep are those entrusted to me by God, and they hear my voice and follow me. God and I are one, and no one can take my sheep from me.”
In our world, there are many voices. Some hear the voice of the ego wooing us to spend our lives only on ourselves. Some hear the voice of power encouraging us to objectify others. Some hear the voice of consumerism encouraging us to strip the earth of its natural resources and exploit others in the process. Some hear the voice of religious leaders offering justification for violence and oppression. Those voices are often subtle and seductive, yet they are different from the voice of Christ.
So if we are sheep belonging to Christ, I would encourage us turn down the volume on the other voices and listen.
We are listening, O Christ, for the sound of your voice. Speak louder than the voices around us that we might hear and follow you. Amen.