Acts 9:36-43; Psalm 23; Revelations 7:9-17; John 10:22-30
“A loud voice cannot compete with a clear voice, even if it’s a whisper.” – Barry Neal Kaufman
The Fourth Sunday of Easter is always Good Shepherd Sunday. That is why on this Sunday we always have Psalm 23. The Gospel this year focuses on the voice of the shepherd, and the sheep hearing that voice, and following. It is one thing to hear the voice of Jesus and follow. It is another thing to be that voice for others. Perhaps if we hear the voice, the only way to follow is to be that voice. We have all heard the expression that in living the Christian life we may be the hands of Jesus doing his work here on earth. Let us also consider being the voice of Jesus bringing consolation and perhaps even wisdom to others. Family members after living together for many years sometimes vocally sound like each other in inflection and ways of saying things and perhaps also in attitudes. We can hear the father or mother in the voice of their children. After many years in the Christian family, listening to the voice of Jesus, we hopefully begin to sound like him. Voice can reveal character, even the character of Jesus in our own voice. We may be the only voice of Jesus that some may ever hear even if it is only a whisper. A pagan writer in the early days of Christianity, after criticizing the beliefs of the Christians, said “but notice how they love one another.” That “sounds” like Jesus. Yet 14.5 percent of households in the United States live in poverty. That includes 16.2 million children. The scenario gets worse as we move around the world. That voice is louder than a whisper. Can we hear it? Can we be a voice for them?
John 10:22 says that Jesus made these comments on the occasion of the Feast of the “Dedication” of the Temple. The Greek word as it has come down to us in English is “Hanukkah.” The feast commemorates Judas Maccabeus’ rededication of the temple in 165 BC after the profanation by Antiochus Epiphanes.
I know that voice from
somewhere deep within myself.
Pursue the whisper.