Valued lambs



Light for the Way devotional series

Before there were banks, ATMs, money market accounts and paper money, wealth was stored differently. One’s wealth was wrapped up in what one had on hand: the clothes on one’s back, whatever was in the house and bits of metal and a few coins in a bag. Some of the wealthiest people in Jesus’ day were those who owned land to farm and animals to raise.

 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” —John 10:11, NIV

When I read in the Bible about Jesus describing himself as the Good Shepherd and that we are his sheep, I can’t help but think of sermons I have given before. Sermons that highlighted the pathetic nature of sheep: how they will get themselves into trouble that they can’t get out of. How simple-minded sheep are. How they will follow anyone willingly. I realize that these sermons were in-ewe-mane because they emphasize the helplessness of sheep over their value to the shepherd.

Jesus did lay down his life for us, only take it up again (John 10:17-18). He did this because we couldn’t do it for ourselves. However, it is also true that Jesus did this because of our value to him. He loves us, not just because we are without a shepherd, but because God made us in his image. This characteristic of our Good Shepherd is passed on to us as we care for those God has placed in our lives. Sure, many of the people we serve need our help. But we also help them because they are valued by the same Shepherd who values us.

Campus Pastor Tom VolkerPastor Tom Volker has served at Founders Ridge as campus pastor since 2022. He absolutely loves the team and residents that he gets to be around by the grace of God. Tom served for 23 years as a parish pastor in different capacities at five different congregations in three different states. He and his amazing wife Verna have four children – three boys and a girl – and reside in South Minneapolis. When not at Founders Ridge, Tom is transporting children, reading, enjoying a movie at the theater, cooking or just trying to be grateful for the adventure that this God has placed him on. (Did that sound too preachy? Sorry, old habit.)

The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.



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