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Centering Words:

From: Colin Harbach (England, United Kingdom)

Read 1 John 4: 7-12

“Know that the Lord is God.  It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.”  Psalm 100:3

Nestled in a hollow on the moor, it was the finest sheepfold I had ever seen.  One enormous circle, built of stone from the rocky debris nearby, it provided protection from cold winter winds and snow – a place for the sheep to huddle together for warmth and where the shepherd could find them and feed them.

“Why did they build it square?” my young companion asked.  I pondered a moment before answering.  “It makes the fold more resistant to the wind,” I said.  With time to reflect, I came up with more ideas.  In a square fold, some sheep would end up in the corners – and corners can be cold.  The whole purpose of a sheepfold is to be an enfolding embrace – a wrap-around of warmth and security.

Such is the presence of our loving God.  Such is the fellowship of God’s people, the church.  No corners!  All are held together, safe and secure in God’s love, ready to move to new pastures when they hear and obediently follow God’s voice.  Square may look smart, but the round, encircling love of God, proves best.

Prayer:  Dear Lord, Jesus, remind us to guard against cold corners in our Christian fellowship.  Amen.

 

From:  The Upper Room, where the world meets to pray

 

 

 

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Lord, help us – teach us – to follow you with reverence and with great JOY.