Everyone has been moved by the story of the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls. Abducted by members of terrorist organization, Boko Haram, the story told us of 267 (the number has varied) girls. Horrifying.
Then a priest friend posted this link on my Facebook page the other day, asking for prayers for the girls by name – and I thought of was the upcoming Gospel for Sunday.
Jesus is our Shepherd, we know his voice, and he calls us by name. Together we are Christians, followers of Christ, one by one we are called by name. This is not to be one lonely individual, but to know that by calling us by name, God means for us to be One in Christ.
If only it were that easy. Who feels like they are not looked for, called after, searched for? Sadly there are many. They cannot hear Christ the Good Shepherd shouting their names.
This is where we – the Body of Christ come in. We are called to be shepherds too. When Jesus calls out our names, and the names of all the lost sheep, we need to be part of that search mission.
Will you call a name today? Or tomorrow? Whether praying for a kidnapped, and no doubt, terrified and possibly harmed, Nigerian girl? Or by speaking to a stranger? Showing a kindness? Extending an invitation? Mending a relationship? When we heal a wound, feed someone who is hungry, reconcile, and so much more, we too are voices from the Shepherd, calling to the sheep.
Please pray for a Nigerian girl, or more than one, by name today. And in your daily life, be a shepherd, call out the names, make full the sheepfold of Jesus, the One who calls us by name.