I Have Other Sheep That Do Not Belong to this Fold

This meditation is based on a passage for January 3, 2011 in the Daily Lectionary Year 1 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).

Text: John 10:7-17

Reflection and Question: In the midst of this extended use of a common Scriptural image — the shepherd who tends the flock — Jesus makes a comment that is central to my understanding of religions other than Christianity and peoples other than my own. He says, “I have other sheep that are not of this fold.” These are people whom I do not know, but Jesus does. And Jesus loves these sheep just as deeply as He loves my flock and me. This prompts me to greet every person I meet and every group, anywhere, as if they might be these other sheep. How do you sense Jesus as the Great Shepherd?

Prayer: Holy Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, we know You laid Your life down for us and also for those sheep who do not belong to our fold. In Your good time, there will be one flock, one shepherd. Lead us all into green pastures, we pray. Amen.