Photo by Martin Wettstein on Unsplash 

Dear Easter Friends,

Alleluia! Christ is risen. 

How do penguins tell each other apart? Scientists have learned that even penguins themselves struggle to tell themselves apart. And that could be a problem. Penguins don’t have nests and a penguin chick’s parents take turns foraging for food, traveling hundreds of miles round trip. But when they return to the waddle (a bunch of penguins) with hundreds of identical birds – how do they find their partner and child? They use sound. Each penguin has a unique vocal sound only their family recognizes. When they return from hunting, they make their unique sound until their family responds in kind. They’re reunited for a nourishing feast.

Jesus calls Himself “the good shepherd” (John 10:11-18). Like penguins, sheep also look alike. When a shepherd wants to gather his sheep, he calls to them. They recognize his unique voice and come to him. Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me … And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd” (John 10:14-16). You and I, through faith received from our Father, have heard Jesus’ voice. We’ve responded to His call and come to Him. He’s brought us into His flock – the church of believers.

However, another characteristic of sheep is a tendency to wander while looking for things to satisfy their hunger. We can tend to do the same as we look for things in the world to satisfy our hunger for excitement, recognition, happiness, and other desires. Sometimes these things endanger our lives – maybe not our temporal lives, but certainly our eternal lives. Yet Jesus continually calls out to us by His word through the Holy Spirit. We hear His voice and then return to Him as He forgives us our sins and rejoins us to His flock … now in the church and in eternity with Him in His new creation. 

He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

                                                                                                In the Risen Christ’s Love,

                                                                                        Pastor Jim