What I read today;

Hebrews 5; John 10; Jeremiah 10; Psalm 44; 1 Samuel 27; Exodus 29

Family farming is in a real state of decay today.  Large corporations have continued to take over smaller family farms at an alarming rate.  As urbanization and industrialization have occurred throughout our society, fewer and fewer young people consider farming a trade that they wish to enter.  As parents move into retirement, the children no longer want to remain on the farm, and the farms are either subdivided or sold to corporations.

As the family farm slowly fades into the past, so does the notion of farming as a desirable career.  Corporations no longer wish to pay the minimum wage, and now we bring unskilled labor across the border to do work that our sons or daughters used to do.  It’s no longer a desirable job.

Funny thing is that it really wasn’t that desirable a job in Jesus time either.  Long hours were spent battling the weather, predatory animals and in some cases other shepherds.  The constant battle to find water and food for the sheep was difficult.  Like today, you get the feeling that the owners of the sheep had persistent problems getting good people to work for them.  It was not uncommon for the sheep to be abandoned and found wandering around.  When that would happen the owner of the sheep would be the one to find and rescue his floc.  The owner was the one who had the vested interest in protecting his floc from trouble and keeping his floc safe.

Jesus compares himself to the shepherd.  Jesus is the owner of our souls.  He is the one who protects us from the attacks of the world and Satan.  Jesus is the one who gave his life for all of us.  He has a vested interest in making sure that each one of us makes it to his heavenly destination.  Jesus has bought us with his very blood.  He has claimed us as his own, and he has vowed that he will not lose one of us no matter what we do or what happens to us.

Let that thought be your prayer of thanksgiving as you go through your day today!

John 10 vs. 27-28, “My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.” NRSV

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