John 10:14-16 (NIV)

14″I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me–15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father–and I lay down my life for the sheep.16I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

John 10:16 (NRSV)

Jesus said, “I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.  I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice.  So there will be one flock, one shepherd.”

DEVOTION – Alissabeth Newton (Washington)

When I was 17 years old, I participated in a foreign-exchange program.  For almost five months I went to school in Russia and lived with a Russian family.  It was my first time to be away from my family for more than a couple of days.  My well-meaning church back home sent several Bibles with me, certain that part of what I was called to do on that trip was to bear witness as a Christian.

However, after my arrival in Russia all those years ago, I soon discovered that God had been there long before I came.  I experienced God through the people I met and loved and depended on during my visit.  Although the ways we worshiped and understood God differed, we all nonetheless experienced relationship with our Creator.

When I recall this period in my life, I think about Jesus’ words in John 10:16 about his sheep that belong to another fold.  He doesn’t say that the disciple must find the other sheep or that they will listen to anyone other than their shepherd.  And he does not speak of them as being lost.  Instead, Jesus said, “There will be one flock, one shepherd.”  Let us listen to the voice of our shepherd, Christ Jesus.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Human diversity is part of God’s plan for our world.

PRAYER:  Holy one, help us to seek you and not to judge our ways of worship and belief above those of others. Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: Christians Around the World