Hey everyone –
Have you ever felt like an outsider, like you didn’t belong, like you were different, or “other”?
How many of us had the horrible experience as a kid in elementary school out on the playground during recess, with two popular classmates choosing up teams, and dying in a pile wondering if we’d ever get picked!
I was always tall for my age, and skinny as a bean-pole, with firey-red curly hair, and super shy (I know, hard to believe!) – and most days I never quite felt like I fit in. Even as a late-comer to Christian faith and the church, though I was warmly welcomed, sometimes I felt like I didn’t really belong. Every so often I still feel “other” in the church!
So there’s a curious thing in our sermon text this week that I absolutely love. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who says, “I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also…” I love that Jesus values “otherness.” I love that Jesus values inclusiveness. It’s so…well, good shepherd-y!
Usually we say the others that Jesus meant here were the Gentiles (as opposed to the Jewish Pharisees with whom Jesus was talking).
But could there be other others?
I hope you get a chance to take a look at John 10:11-18 – and bring your questions and insights to share as we engage the text together this Sunday!
Grace and peace,