Text: John 10:11-18
The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
Make a list of all the sheep—loved ones, responsibilities, institutions, ideas, dreams— you are charged with shepherding. Which of these sheep truly belong to your flock? Which have been hired into your hand by others? Who are the masters that assign these foreign sheep into your care? Why do they need or want your help? What is the pay they offer in exchange? What branding or other demarcation enables you to separate your sheep from theirs? When the wolves come at night, as they always do, which sheep do you sacrifice? For which sheep are you willing to lay down your own life? What strategies, if any, do you use to make that determination?
When morning finally arrives after those long, dark nights spent on guard against the wolves, and you begin counting the remaining members of your flock, are you surprised by what has survived? Do you find yourself happy and grateful that you’ve been able to keep the sheep that are dearest to your heart? Or do you find yourself in despair over the terrible loss—grief-stricken, bitter, resentful, and woefully underpaid?
– Kathie Collins