A life of accumulation and consumption takes us away from God and from one another. Such a life often becomes lonely and isolated, with stored up treasures in barns rather than treasure stored in heaven. Soon we are no match for the thieves and robbers of the world, those voices of consumerism, materialism and competition that suggest to us we are lacking and lagging behind our neighbor.
Too often we see this even in our churches; congregations focused on “things” in abundance have little life. Congregations focused on earthly abundance spend a lot of time building, dressing and filling barns with more and more stuff. When we become preoccupied with ourselves, there is too little time for fellowship, relationships, and especially worship and prayer. Thankfully, through our Good shepherd, we have life, and we have it abundantly.
The Good Shepherd text is sandwiched in between stories of Jesus restoring eyesight to the blind and raising his friend Lazarus. We may glean from this that God wants us to “see” correctly what abundant life is. Abundant life is loving God with all your heart, mind and strength. It means loving your neighbor as yourself. And finally, abundant life means believing that through Christ your sins are forgiven, and through him only is the way to everlasting life.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, cleanse me from my sin and give me life in your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.