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Gates and Doors

Gates and Doors       John 10: 1-10

sheepfoldThe church season of Eastertide (Easter to Pentecost Sunday) is a time to reflect on what it means to live the resurrection life. The themes of the set lectionary readings each week reflect this wonderful state of community we share as Christians where we embrace the new as we graciously let go of the past.


The Acts passage [Acts 2:42-47] gives a glimpse of the shared life of the early disciples with generosity and genuine care for one another as marks of true Christian community. Peter’s letter [1Peter 2:19-25], addressed to those who are being persecuted for Christ’s sake, gives an assurance that their suffering is not without meaning or purpose, and that it is a sharing in Christ’s sacrifice, even as God – Shepherd and Guardian – watches over them. Jesus warns about false shepherds who fail to care for ‘the sheep’.


This week’s gospel [John 10:1-10] reveals Jesus’ promise that he has come to give life, and suggests how the Christian life should be lived. Using mixed metaphors Jesus is both the Shepherd who protects and cares, and the gate through which the sheep go out to find pasture and life, and come in to find refuge. So often we use gates and doors – even invisible ones – to hide behind – to keep others out – to separate us from those whom Jesus calls us to embrace.

The resurrection means a life shared with others where there is mutual love and care. For it is in community that Christ’s life can be fully known and enjoyed.


Adapted from


Acts 2:42-47    42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. 44All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, 47praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

1 Peter 2:19-25    19For it is a credit to you if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. 20If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval. 21For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps. 22“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 23When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

John 10:1-10   10‘Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. 2The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ 6Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. 7 So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.