For LGBTQ+ Christians, this passage can be difficult to hear, and may have even been used against us. We have been told that we are the wolves in sheep’s clothing, seeking to harm the flock, and Jesus is the gate keeping us out.
Yet, this passage (John 10) says that Jesus, the good shepherd, calls us each by name and that we know his voice. We know deep in our bones that we belong to God and that we are his sheep, no matter what others may say.
So what is stopping you from living the abundant life God has set out for you? Maybe you haven’t found a supportive community to be out and proud in. Maybe you don’t know if your sexuality and your faith can coexist. Perhaps you’re not convinced that God really loves you just as you are.
As Rev. Jeremy Bork wrote at the beginning of Lent, Jesus is the door where we expect a wall. In the coming Easter season, may Christ be for you a source of surprising joy where you expected pain, refreshment where you expected longing, and embrace where you expected rejection.
Prayer: God, may you undo in us the messages we have internalized that we are not welcome in your church. May we be protected from those who would seek to harm us. May we soak in your abundance and live in your freedom. May we know in body, mind, and spirit that we are loved by the Good Shepherd. Amen.
Rev. Alyssa Muehmel (she/her) is an ordained minister in the RCA. Her ministry is working as a hospital chaplain in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She loves being outdoors, good coffee, and internet humor.