In this upcoming Sunday’s Gospel passage, Jesus compares himself to a shepherd and the Church to the sheep of His flock. Jesus teaches us something about who God is, and He wants us to see the interaction between those who know God and His voice, and those who do not.
We heard, “And the sheep hear His voice, as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” This is a very familiar scene in the ancient world. The shepherd calling to his sheep. The shepherd may call by name or by a particular vocalization and the sheep would hear and they’d follow him. They wouldn’t follow other voices.
Here’s the point: it is so easy to render God abstract. To see God as distant; a God who is off doing “god” things, not really interested in what we do or who we are. Sometimes we think of Him kind of like we think of the “force” from the famous Star Wars saga. A “force” that runs through all things, etc. But the message of the Bible is that God has a voice; God speaks to us! He speaks to you and me, we who were built by Him to listen. We’ve been built to hear his voice.
You and I, by nature, are ordered to God…we are born to hear Him. Our God communicates with us personally, directly, powerfully, creatively, and with purpose.
So how does God “speak”? Where can we hear His voice?