My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. –   John 10:27

/var/folders/2v/_x94h0hs2k18q2v0phm633k40000gn/T/ member Tiff Rudisill led devotions at the July Council meeting and used this Scripture passage from John, chapter 10.  (You can read the text of those devotions at the end of this pastoral perspective).  John 10:27 invites us to hear the voice of our savior and Lord Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd.  Listen and follow!  Christ’s is a voice that can be trusted as it is the voice of the one who has been faithful to God and whose faithfulness is the root of our faith.  Christ the Good Shepherd indeed lays down his life for our sake.  His death on the cross and resurrection to eternal life serve as the bedrock of God’s grace and mercy to us and as the foundation of our faith.

In a world with many voices competing for our attention and focus, God’s Word can be drowned out or crowded out or left unheard.  This passage reminds us that God in Christ continues to shepherd us and that an important component of that shepherding is Christ’s voice.  His words guide, comfort, and inspire.  They challenge, admonish, console, and encourage.  They offer faith, hope, and love.

The continuation of COVID, the gun violence across our nation, wars and conflict around the world, the challenges of inflation, all have an ongoing impact on our daily lives.  Nevertheless, we have faith that God knows us and speaks words of grace and hope.  The Good shepherd’s voice brings focus and a reminder that we are not alone as we face the challenges of our day even as generations before us were not abandoned by God amidst their challenges.

Take heart, have courage, and live with the boldness and confidence that Christ is with you.  Open your heart and mind to the Word of God and may it lead and guide you to do the right thing, the Christ-like thing, the faithful thing.

The voice of the Good Shepherd speaks to us personally and communally.  In her council devotions Tiff encouraged the congregation to be open to the voice of the Lord and to the work of the Spirit.  This August brings a period of significant transition with our staff and wonderful opportunities for us to come together again as we approach a new programmatic year.  May we listen to the Word of God!  May we follow the voice of the Shepherd who calls us together again and again to worship, serve, learn, and support one another, the Gettysburg community and the world!

Have a blessed, healthy, enjoyable, and fun remainder of the summer.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Stephen Herr