I remember when I was growing up, our family got news through the party line phone that we had in our house. Each family on the line had a special ring. It was a series of rings for each family. If you wanted to call out, you had to wait for the line to clear. This was a very limited way to get information.
A member of Jesus Our Shepherd told me that going to church on Sunday was a very big deal. She would pick out what she was going to wear and get the right accessories to go with it, including nail polish. She would go to church to listen to what the priest would say about Jesus' call and what she should do about her response to the message. Going to church helped me to discover what my responsibilities were to others. If I just listened to the sermon, my views and all people's view of the call of Jesus could be very narrow.
It can be difficult at times to hear scripture about heading into a sheepfold and applying the message to what we are supposed to do now. The only time I saw herds of sheep is when I visited Ireland and the sheep were everywhere.
It is also very hard to know what to do because of the way the media surrounds us. Lately the healthcare bill in Washington is all over the news. There is graphic news about the famine in Africa. Thew news has also presented the terrible flooding and tornado outbreaks in the United States.
This can be difficult when it was easier when we were younger and we had limited information about what was happening around us and the world. Perhaps life seemed easier when we were growing up because we did not have the over abundance of news about the needs of others close to us and the needs of the world. Sometimes I get confused.
I think I know what Jesus is wanting us to do. Jesus cared about others. He reached out to heal even though He was reaching out to the wrong “kind” of person. The people he healed and helped were the outcasts, the dirty and sick. He comforted the discouraged, the sinners, the people who were on the edge of society. It was a personal healing to others and to their families that brought hope and a new life.
If Jesus lived in a time where he could bring new life, healing, and scientific innovations tot he poor and starving, I believe he would have done it. More wells and successful farming aides would have been presented. To look at what Jesus did in his time on earth can be our road map to what we can do now.
Listening to social media, the news and the shout out of needs of so many families gives us many, many instances and situations that God calls us to follow the plan of God. Our lives are different now than when we were young and when we were isolated from the world around us. We are called to be more than sheep that follows the shepherd into the sheep hold. We are called to build more sheep holds for others to come into.
Our prayer should be:
Bring us into awareness of the sheep around us that need to walk with us into Gold's protection and reign.
Bring us into awareness of the people around us who are struggling to walk with us because they are starving, diseased, and are disabled.
Bring us into awareness of the people around us who are struggling with illness of addiction, loneliness, and depression so we can help them journey with us into a new life.
It is no excuse for lack in awareness of the needs of others. It is our responsibility to open our eyes and ears to reach out to others and bring them and ourselves home to the sheepfold where God awaits.