In-person worship services will be held as scheduled this Sunday. Please use discretion when determining whether roads are safe for your personal travel.
If you are unable to travel, consider joining worship online HERE at 7:30, 9, 11 or 5pm, on-demand at Resurrection’s YouTube channel, or on TV at KMCI 38 at 8am or 11am.
We are watching the weather and at this time the Car Show is still on as scheduled for the public, open from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. We will keep you updated as conditions change.
7 So Jesus spoke again, “I assure you that I am the gate of the sheep. 8 All who came before me were thieves and outlaws, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. 9 I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 The thief enters only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
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John’s gospel showed Jesus claiming to embody the promise God made in Ezekiel 34:11-16. God came to earth in the person of Jesus, and as promised reached out to the lost and the strays, bound up our wounds and took special interest in the weak. He didn’t just talk about that—he actually did it (e.g. John 8:2-11). He was the Good Shepherd, and in the end, he did indeed give up his life for the sheep—us.
Lord Jesus, neither you nor your New Testament followers ever sounded bored or jaded. Guide me into a fuller life, joining the great adventure of restoring a broken world to God’s purposes. Amen.
Growing up in my family, fancy restaurants were not something our family of five frequented, but occasionally on a Sunday afternoon just after church, we would find ourselves at a local buffet. Those were the good ol’ days! The three of us kids were always thrilled because everyone was able to find something they liked, and you could eat as much of it as you wanted! For parents of 3, with two growing boys, this was a win-win situation.
As a child I thought the point of such restaurants was to truly take them up on their tag line and actually eat all that you could—like it was a game to level up on. As I got older, I realized that the actual point wasn’t to just stuff your face…but to have options! To be able to go to one single location and try everything on the menu without the risk of choosing something you don’t like and having it ruin your experience! An abundance of food with a veritable cornucopia of options, all in one location. What a concept! Now, in the wake of a global pandemic, I shudder at the thought of how many hands touched the utensils in those buffets…but I was a child and ignorance was truly bliss.
In John, chapter 10, Jesus uses a metaphor where he likens himself to the gate of an enclosure that keeps the sheep that belong to the pasture safe. He also calls himself a “Good Shepherd” who is willing to sacrifice his life for his sheep. Whenever Christ uses these comparisons, we as people are always the sheep in the scenario. It’s a very descriptive comparison, and it doesn’t always paint us (the sheep) in a flattering light. One of the most upsettingly accurate examples of sheep I’ve seen depicted was in the movie “Far from the Madding Crowd,” where a spooked sheep dog causes an entire flock of sheep to fall off a cliff. One by one they ran straight to their ultimate detriment without even realizing it. Upsetting. Unsettling. Yet, relatable.
Jesus paints a picture of thieves and outlaws whose intention is to steal, kill, and destroy those of us as sheep. As people, we like to think of ourselves as too smart to be accidentally tricked into dangerous situations, but the fact is, we do it all the time. We stray from the pasture, we stray from the shepherd, we get distracted, and sometimes we find ourselves in precarious situations in need of rescue.
Through Jesus, the Good Shepherd, we sheep get access to a pasture that Jesus equates to this idea of an abundant life. The life that Christ wants for each of us, he says, is one that is plentiful and not lacking. It’s the type of life where within the Shepherd’s boundaries there is provision and protection. Much like the pleasant Sunday afternoons my family spent enjoying fellowship and an abundance of provisions, Jesus invites us to a buffet of abundance—a life for us as sheep to live in fellowship with Him and receive the provision of his pasture and protection as a Good Shepherd.
May we all accept the invitation, pull up a seat, and enjoy the abundant life Christ has for us.
* William Barclay, The Gospel of John—Volume 2 Chapters 8–21 (Revised Edition). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1976, p. 60.
** Wright, N.T., John for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1-10 (The New Testament for Everyone) (p. 150). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.