"My sheep know my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."
I am excited to celebrate Pentecost in three more days. But, when reflecting on a theme for this devotion, I was prompted to focus on Jesus's ministry as we walk out the last of the Easter Season. Where should I begin? I kept hearing the words, "Come follow me."
Through the help of Siri on my iPhone, I learned that Jesus used these words 12 times in the Gospels. John 10:27 says, "My sheep know my voice ….. and they follow me." I began thinking - if I walked with Jesus in his ministry, what would I see in his character. I think we would all agree that we would see love, mercy, selflessness, compassion, and servanthood. We would also see him as the giver of salvation, forgiveness, healing, and understanding. I was slowly being given direction for my devotion. To follow Jesus would involve trying to live his characteristics.
Then, I found a prayer that put the final part of the devotion into focus.
"O mighty Lord, I pray that You will be by my shield, as I do battle against ignorance, cruelty, and injustice. Through Your unending love, I pray that You will grant me steadfastness, so that I might lead others to do Your will and glorify Your name." ( no source given)
A call to battle ignorance, cruelty, and injustice is a way to follow Jesus. I certainly see Jesus's character in these commands. I think this involves stepping out into new areas. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to battle ignorance by supporting Head to Head, the only tuition-free school in Belle Vue, Haiti. Without Head to Head's school, so many poor children in Belle Vue would never learn to read or write. I know CHS also supports S.U.R.E. (Sarasota United for Responsibility and Equity) which fights injustice. This prayer is really stirring my conscience. Awareness is the first step. I will ask the Holy Spirit to show me more concrete ways to follow Jesus by working against ignorance, cruelty, and injustice.
LET US PRAY:
Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, give me discernment on how to help establish the Kingdom of God here on earth as it is in heaven by battling ignorance, cruelty, and injustice. Jesus, help me be steadfast in my desire to follow you. AMEN.