Sheep can be incredibly smart, For instance, most sheep can distinguish their shepherd's voice from any other voice. A few exceptional sheep can even be taught how to sit like a dog on command. On the other hand, sheep can seem completely brainless. It's not unusual to see sheep trying to walk through a barbed wire fence or casually strolling straight off the edge of a cliff. To make matters worse, where one goes, others tend to follow.
The hardest thing about being a shepherd is keeping the sheep where they should be, Certain sheep seem determined to go where they could be harmed. Modern shepherds use a device called a hobble on sheep's hind legs to keep them from moving freely. Before hobblers were invented, shepherds often broke a sheep's leg to keep it from the danger of wandering away. It was all part of caring for the sheep. Jesus seemed to understand sheep well. He saw His followers, us, as sheep, and himself as our shepherd.
Thoughts: Jesus joined some men who were walking the 7-1/2 miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Not recognizing Jesus, these men were discussing the news that angels had been seen at Jesus’ empty tomb, and these angels said that Jesus was alive.
Beginning with Moses, Jesus explained the scriptures that prophesied the coming of a Savior. Still, none of the men recognized Jesus.
When they sat down to eat supper together, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them. Then “… their eyes were opened, and they knew him….”
Our sacrament of communion is a sacred reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. “Take, eat, this is my body which is given for you.” “This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
“… he was known to them in breaking of bread.”
Discussion: How often should communion be served?
Activity: Memorize the words from the communion liturgy: “For thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, forgive us all that is past; and grant that we may ever hereafter serve and please thee in newness of life, to the honor and glory of thy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Weekly Devotional from Word at Home April 2017
Thoughts: Speeches can be a great show, but most of the time not much comes of them. Speeches are great fro inciting passion or bringing about awareness. But after a while, the words pile up-and piles of words will never magically become action. Jesus was aware of what a mountain of words would stack up to, and that's why He let his actions do the talking. When He rose from the dead, Jesus didn't make a speech to the world or chastise his closest friends who scattered. Instead, He made breakfast for them. This action was a reminder from Jesus that His friends belonged, that they weren't disqualified because they'd made a mistake and that the dream of God's love was still alive-for them and everyone else.
We create a space for change in our lives when we put down the megaphones, stop shouting at everybody else, and show up for our own faith. No heart can be transformed by a bunch of words. Change comes from belonging, and belonging is born out of being with others. But it can't stop there. Belonging without doing feels like a clique. It feels empty. Whether we're invited onto the stage or posting on a Facebook account, we're tempted to think that our words equate to real change. That' s just the first step. Let your lives spring into action, and let what comes of that do the talking.
Instead of telling someone what we think or believ- or telling them what they should think or believe-what if we just ate a meal with them? It sounds insignificant at first, but it's not. Love in action has the power many of us haven't tapped into. Maybe you're bummed to hear this, but a casserole or a bag of In-N-Out burgers sat more than any five sermons on how Jesus loved us.
Discussion: Who do you need to (virtually or post-quarantine)change your approach with and just sit down for a meal?
Activity: Pick one of the people you just mentioned and be intentional about how you minster to them!!
Weekly Devotional from Live in Grace, Walk in Love by Bob Goff
Thoughts: I couldn’t sleep that night. In the early morning darkness, I got up, dressed, and then hurried to Jesus’ tomb. I knew a huge stone had been rolled against the opening of the tomb, and I had heard soldiers were posted outside the tomb. Probably, I couldn’t even get near the tomb, but I felt compelled to go there. I needed to be close to Jesus’ poor lacerated body. But when I came near enough to see, the stone had been rolled away. And there were no soldiers. The stillness was absolute. No early birds chirped; no rabbits slipped through the dewy grass. I was alone in the darkness, and I was afraid.
Discussion: Why did Mary Magdalene go to Jesus’ tomb alone?
Activity: Send an Easter card with a hand-written note to someone who lives alone.
Weekly Devotional from March 2016 Word at Hom
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