Excerpt from “So Many Voices, So Much Noise,” preached by Rev. Victoria Wilgocki, May 28, 2017.
Gospel reading John 10:1-18.
How much time do we spend engaging with the “thieves and bandits” compared to the amount of time we spend with God-Christ-Spirit?
Amidst so many voices, amidst so much noise, how in the world do we discern the Shepherd’s voice, the voice of Jesus who came that we might have abundant life? How do we hear the call to Christian discipleship through all the clamor? all the racket?
I think one of the take-aways from today’s gospel reading is this: Every person of faith needs to press the re-set button from time to time. Maybe monthly, or quarterly, or semi-annually, or at least once a year on Ash Wednesday – each of us would do well to press the re-set button, asking ourselves:
Am I spending time in prayer?
Do I regularly give thanks to God?
Am I reading the Bible or other books related to a life of faith?
How am I working for justice?
Do I love my neighbor as myself?
Am I feeding the hungry, or caring for the sick and dying, the orphan and the widow?
Am I being generous with my money?
Do I sing praise?
Do I speak the truth of lament?
Am I attending to my interior spiritual life?
Am I repairing strained relationships, using my spiritual gifts, confessing what burdens me, delighting in the Creator and creation … ?
Of course, none of us can do all of that all of that time. Of course not. But do you agree that the cultural voices enticing us to do otherwise, are loud? And do you agree that the political noise distracting us, riling us up, giving us fits, creating national anxiety, isn’t going to go away anytime soon?
So we must re-tune our hearts and minds, ears and eyes, bodies and souls to Jesus, who says: “I am the Gate. I am the Good Shepherd. I call each of you by name.”
I call each of you by name. You are mine.
How would our daily lives be different if we told ourselves every morning “Oh yeah, Jesus calls me by name and he says: You Are Mine.”