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The Shepherd’s Voice

4th Sunday of Easter

From “Scolding the Snakes”

Scripture Reference: John 10:25-30 and Ps. 23
Following the Shepherd's Voice

Following the Shepherd’s Voice

How many of you answer the telephone in your home? (Let kids raise their hands.) Now, tell me this: how many of you have answered the phone and guessed who was calling, just by his or her voice—before the person on the other end told you who it was? Are you good at recognizing voices? (Let kids respond.) If we hear a voice that we’ve heard many times before, it’s pretty easy to recognize, isn’t it? (You may share your own story here or ask kids to tell about a time when they recognized somebody by voice—without even seeing the person. You may want to play recordings of recognizable voices from the congregation and see if the children can recognize them.)

Do you know that a baby can recognize her mommy’s voice when she is just a few days old? She’s heard that voice from inside the mommy as she’s growing and developing and getting ready to be born. Her mommy’s voice is comforting and familiar. Sometimes just hearing the voice of her mother is enough to calm a crying baby.

People aren’t the only ones who are good at recognizing voices. Plenty of animals are, too. Did you know that a flock of sheep can recognize the voice of their shepherd? Sheep aren’t like dogs; you can’t train them to do tricks. But sheep can recognize voices, and they can follow the familiar voice of their shepherd. When a flock of sheep is scared or confused, often just the sound of the shepherd’s voice is enough to calm them and to bring them in close to the shepherd. The sheep don’t have to see the shepherd; even in darkness, they will follow the sound of the shepherd’s voice.

In the Bible, people are often compared to sheep and Jesus is called the Good Shepherd. What are some ways that we can hear Jesus’ voice talking to us? (Let children share ideas.) Do we hear his words in Bible readings? Do we hear what he wants us to know in the words of our parents and pastor and Sunday school teachers? And sometimes, do we hear Jesus’ voice in the answers to our prayers?

A good shepherd is always looking for the safest path for his flock. He looks for green pastures with lots of tasty grass for his sheep. He takes his sheep to calm, clear water to drink. Jesus always wants the best for us, so we can feel very safe and happy when we follow his voice. Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life” (John 10:27-28 NIV). Jesus has promised his followers a wonderful life with him—one that will never end. And no one can take that away from us. Follow the Good Shepherd.

Prayer:  Dear Jesus, help us hear your voice, and then help us to follow that voice. Amen

 

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