Sermonette for Annual Barbecue – 4/21/13

4th Sunday of Easter

Text: John 10:22-30

Theme: “Hear the Voices and Understand

There was a mother cat that was out for a stroll with her three small kittens. As they were walking along, the mother cat suddenly saw a big, mean bulldog coming up the sidewalk. So she quickly took the kittens and hid them safely under a nearby porch.

Then the mother cat turned around and went toward the dog. When they got almost nose to nose, the cat looked the dog in the eye and said, “Ruff, ruff, ruff!” With that, the dog turned 180 degrees and ran off the other way.

The mother cat then returned to her kittens, looked at them, and said, “Now do you understand why it is so important to learn a second language!”

In our sermonette text, Jesus declares that His people will bear His voice and will understand the message that He is speaking.

Today is known as Good Shepherd Sunday, because of the Introit and the Holy Gospel assigned for the 4th Sunday of Easter.

“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, and I lay down my life for the sheep.”

We, you and I, are His sheep, and we know the Good Shepherd’s voice, because it comes to us through His Holy Word, the Bible.

WE just sang, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. When I feel afraid, think I’ve lost my way, still you are there right beside me.”

As Christians, we know the Good Shepherd’s voice through the Bible, and we follow Him because we do know His voice.

According to sheep farmers, sheep are not dumb, as many people seem to think they are. One ounce of a sheep farm said that it was the cattle ranchers who are responsible for spreading the ugly rumor that sheep are dumb. “It’s because sheep don’t act like cows,” the sheep herder said.

Cows are herded from the rear by hooting cowboys with cracking whips but that will not work with sheep at all.

Stand behind them making loud noises and all they will do is run around behind you, because they prefer to be led.

You see, you push cows, but you lead sheep, and they will not go anywhere that someone else does not go first: their shepherd, who goes ahead of them to show them that everything I all right.

What a perfect comparison! That’s why we can say with total hope, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”

We know the good news about our shepherd. We live in the wonderful comfort of knowing His promises, because we have His Word which is a lamp unto our feet.

However, there are many people who do not know His voice, and cannot follow the Good Shepherd, because they have not heard Him and do not know His truth.

Before the days of microphones, a pastor was preaching to a packed house on Easter Sunday. In fact, there were so many people, they were standing in the Narthex and outside on the porch.

“Speak up,” shouted one of the Elders to the pastor,” we must remember those on the outside!”

Yes, indeed, the church is the Body of Christ. We are His sheep. But we must never forget those who are outside the fold! They need to hear and understand, too! Amen.