O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people: Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Collect for the Fourth Sunday of Easter)
Christ the Good Shepherd reminds us that God knows each of us by name. To name and to be known by name impress me as holy moments of honor throughout most cultures. Most people take great satisfaction in being known by name and how they received their name. We experience this example during the sacrament of baptism when the priest asks for the name of the child, youth, or adult to be baptized. I remember it well from recently at the Great Vigil of Easter when one adult and four children were named again at their initiation into God’s Church. It was a moment of pride, gratitude, and humility for each before they began their new life in Christ.
Indeed this is the case with the Good Shepherd whose voice we are invited to know intimately. Each of us is called by name to follow wherever he might lead us – journeys of trust and faith. Our simple yet courageous listening to his voice is bound to lead us rightly in thought, word and deed.
May Eastertide and life at St. Peter’s become a time for us to tune our ears to hear the voice of God amid the constant noise of life. God is trying to tell us something about love and hopes that we are listening.
– The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector