Goats and Gates
“I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them… The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.” –John 10:7-10
We have a couple of new additions to our family, a pair of goats named, Sunflower and Lupe Lilac. They are very sweet and friendly. My children are thrilled to have something to play with. The puppy is overjoyed to have something to herd. (The cats have been less accommodating to her herding attempts.) The goats are very popular in our neighborhood and attracted all the local children and families to visit, but they have been frightened a couple of times and learned that they could jump through the top rails of the gate. This is an unfortunate realization. Luckily, we had a different gate which was the same size as the original which they cannot jump through. So I believe our crisis is over, but it got me thinking about gates.
Jesus told his disciples that he was the gate for the sheep. Gates are really important. You must be able to contain your critters, or they are vulnerable to predators. We need to keep them in the pasture, so they don’t get lost or hit by a car. And we need access to the pasture, so we can enter and exit safely in order to provide food and water. The gate provides protection. It also provides access. I love that Jesus calls himself that protection and access. Jesus is the avenue to get to the place of safety and sustenance. The food and the safe pasture is inside. That’s where we want to be. Even if the grass looks greener on the other side, it isn’t. Jesus is the gate which lets us enter the safe pasture. Jesus is the gate which keeps out the enemy. Jesus has come to give us life, full, complete, joy-filled life.
Loving God who provides and protects, you do not desire that we simply exist. Your plan for us to full life. Thank you for your protection and access to you through Jesus. May we enjoy that full life here and in the life to come. Amen.
Warmly in Christ,
Rev. Hanna Peterson Shearer