Narrative Lectionary 430 – Ash Wednesday
1 “Very truly,A I tell you, anyone who does not enterB the sheepfoldC by the gateD
but climbs inE by another way isF a thiefG and a bandit.H
2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherdI of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeperJ opensK the gate for him, and the sheep hearL his voice.M
He callsN his ownO sheep by nameP and leads them out.Q
4 When he has brought outR allS his own, he goesT ahead of them, and the sheep followU him because they knowV his voice.
5 They will not follow a stranger,W but they will runX from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 JesusY used this figure of speechZ with them, but they did not understandAA 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. 8 All who cameBB before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved,CC and will come in and go outDD and findEE pasture.FF
10 The thief comes only to stealGG and killHH and destroy.II I came that they may haveJJ life,KK and have it abundantly.LL
11 “I am the goodMM shepherd. The good shepherd lays downNN his lifeOO for the sheep.
12 The hired hand,PP who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, seesQQ the wolfRR coming and leavesSS the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatchesTT them and scattersUU them.
13 The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not careVV for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I knowWW my own and my own know me, 15 just as the FatherXX knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my lifeYY for the sheep. 16 I have otherZZ sheep that do not belongAAA to this fold. I mustBBB bringCCC them also, and they will listen to my voice.
So there will beDDD oneEEE flock,FFF one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father lovesGGG me, because I lay down my lifeHHH in order to take it upIII again.
18 No one takesJJJ it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have powerKKK to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have receivedLLL this commandMMM from my Father.”
Image credit: “The Sheepfold, Moonlight” by Jean-François Millet, from 1856 until 1860.