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December 17 Sheep: Following the Shepherd by Kristy Burmeister

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My sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me. John 10:27 CEB

When I was younger, I had a pet sheep named Beth. When we brought her home, she immediately bonded with my old dog. Beth would follow my dog around all day. If the dog got a drink of water, Beth got a drink of water. If the dog went to sleep under a tree, Beth would go to sleep under the tree. After my dog died, Beth started following my pony in the same way. After the pony was gone, Beth escaped through the neighbor’s fence and became friendly with his cows. We found her following after the herd of cattle. We used to joke about our confused sheep with an identity crisis. She thought she was a dog, a pony, and a cow.

But, Beth was doing what sheep do. They follow. They imitate. This is what it means to be a sheep. That’s why Jesus frequently referred to his followers as sheep. Not only do we follow the Good Shepherd, but we are also to imitate him. This Christmas, let’s commit to imitating Jesus’ mercy and generosity.

—Dear God, Please show me how to imitate Jesus’ example in my life. Help me listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd and follow him. Amen

Keith Fisher
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