Saturday, April 17, 2010
Tomorrow is Good Shepherd Sunday
“I am the Good Shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.” Our Church teaches that, “a seven-year-old child knows what the Church is, namely, holy believers and sheep who hear the Shepherd’s voice”(Smalcald Articles XII). These words teach that the Church is, at heart, made up of two things: 1) the voice of the Good Shepherd, and 2) those who know His voice. Accordingly, if a person wishes to be certain of salvation, it is necessary first, that he be certain that the voice which he hears is the voice of the Good Shepherd and not some hireling. Second, he should ask whether he is listening to that voice or ignoring it. For it is in hearing the voice of the Good Shepherd that the saving power of His death and resurrection comes to you. As He says, “I lay down My life for the sheep.” Namely, if you are a sheep of His fold, it is for you that Christ gave His life. Nowhere is this dynamic so concretely played out than in the Divine Service. Here the flock of the Good Shepherd hears His voice from heaven and is healed by His stripes.