WEDNESDAY 13th MAY 2020
Good morning friends,
I wonder if you’ve slept well? I find that I am sleeping really well these days.
There have been times though, when I have sleepless nights worrying about this and that.
When these nights have come I’ve often turned to Psalm 91, a psalm which speaks of the Lord’s protection.
I do love the Psalms because of the writer’s honesty about how he is feeling.
One Christmas a friend gave me a lovely homemade gift which I kept by my bedside for years. It was a photo frame, filled with a pair of angel’s wings, and over written were some words from Psalm 91. ......”he will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge...............you will not fear the terror of the night.......”
Of course the most well known of the Psalms must be Psalm 23 which again speaks of the Lord’s protection; a psalm which Jesus embodies for us.
Today we reflect on the third of Jesus I Am statements.
In the Gospel of John Chapter 10 Jesus says several times "I am the gate".
In Chapter 10 - 9 He says "I am the gate. Those who come in by me will be saved; they will come in and go out and find pasture."
This seems strange at first. We can understand when Jesus says "I am the Way" or "I am the Good Shepherd"; but Gate? What does all that mean?
To understand this we need to visualise how a sheep pen at the times of Christ looked like. It was a circular or square enclosure built out of stone, wooden fencing or just hedges. And it had an opening through which sheep got in and out.
And the shepherd would lie across the opening, sleeping with his sheep, and making sure that none would get out during the night, protecting them from wolves or other predators.
So, the shepherd was in fact the gate. He was willing to put his own life in danger in order to protect his flock. The sheep could lie down and sleep in perfect safety.
That's what Jesus meant when He said He is the Gate.
He protects us from evil and stops us from going astray. This passage from John's Gospel is a New Testament version of Psalm 23 –with echoes from Psalm 91
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
May you know the protection of Jesus this day,
they comfort me.