Advent, Day 12: Sleepy. And sheepy.

Sorry–that is bad, I know. I’m just home from pottery class and have had a late dinner and am feeling crashed. Last night included too little sleep, and this day was full (of good things, but still not as laid-back as I might’ve liked after a short night). Anyway…

Today’s reading: John 10:11-15

Now that I think of it, though, I kind of DO feel sheepy. (If my imaginings of what sheep must feel like are at all accurate.) During this season, unfortunately, it is so easy to get sucked in to the movement of the culture (the flock, if you will!) around us (generally moving in the direction of malls and toy stores). I catch myself doing it every year, and every year I intend to try harder to keep my focus in the right places and my mind and heart true to God’s purposes of hope, peace, joy, and love in this season.

I also fall into the trap (is there such a thing as sheep traps? I doubt it…) of just kind of milling around, moving in the general direction of December 25, stopping now and then to take an interest in some passing thing, or sometimes just pausing to stare around randomly before I start moving again. I catch myself doing it every year, too, and every year I intend to try harder to pay attention, to be proactive and engaged in this journey toward Bethlehem, and to be an active participant in the yearning and longing for the presence of Christ in our world.

What a gift it is, then, to have a Good Shepherd who came to this earthly life for us, and who gave his earthly life for us! Who guides us, as individuals and as a whole beloved flock, to the greenest pastures and the stillest waters. Who knows us (a topic for another day, the value of being truly known) and who wants us to know him.

May we, sheepish as we are, hear him calling our names through the clamour of this season, and may we follow his gentle leading through the dangers and distractions of our world.

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