Readings for 4th Sunday of Easter
Acts 20:17-35; Revelation 7:9-17; John 10:22-30
If you were an animal, what kind would you be? Our family likes to have fun with hypothetical questions like this. Typically, the animal of choice has some desirable advantage – an eagle, a cheetah, a killer whale. Never do I recall anyone choosing a sheep. And this for the obvious reason that sheep are inherently vulnerable and dependent creatures, not how we like to think of ourselves.
But this theme of the Christian’s vulnerability runs through each of our readings for what is commonly called Good Shepherd Sunday. The apostle Paul warns a group of Ephesian pastors to guard their sheep from “wolves”, that is false teachers who will tell their flocks anything they want to hear (Acts 20). Jesus promises to protect the sheep of his own flock so that “no one can snatch them out of my hand” (John 10). And the apostle John sees a vision of all saints worshipping Jesus as the Shepherd-Lamb who guides us to “living water” (Rev 7).
Where is your faith most vulnerable? Jesus has pledged to protect you. Follow him.