by Pastor Melissa Pohlman, ISP Twin Cities 

reflecting with today’s Gospel reading, John 21:15-19.

Jesus talks a lot about sheep in the Gospel of John. I don’t have a lot of experience with sheep, since I grew up in the forests of the Upper Midwest and now I live in the heart of a city. When I was a sophomore at Augsburg University, the community service club took a trip to the Diné Reservation in the American Southwest for Spring Break. Our whole job was to care for sheep when their people went into town to get groceries and supplies. It was a whole day’s trip and sheep are very precious to the Diné People. I learned very quickly that sheep are not the smartest animals God made. They have a tendency to get into trouble, be saved, and get right back into trouble again. A good example would be in this video. I spent days in the bright Arizona sun keeping the sheep out of trouble and danger.

In this Easter season while Jesus calls us his Good Shepherd, I am thankful that, even though I am one of the sheep of his pasture, Jesus always makes sure I am fed, I am cared for, and I am tended. Jesus the Good Shepherd provides for all the sheep and for all their needs. He calls Peter and he calls us to care for one another. I am precious, and you are precious, to our Good Shepherd.

Reflection Questions: When have you been lost or in a cycle of trouble, perhaps by your own choosing or mistakes? How were you found? By whom? What does it feel like to be found after being separated and ungrounded?

Pastor Melissa is a pastor at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. In her call she facilitates the work of the Restoration Center, a resource hub for people in Downtown Minneapolis who are struggling with housing and economic instability. Her values drive her to work with people experiencing homelessness to change the conditions of being homeless in Minneapolis as all work to ensure that everyone has a home. Pastor Melissa’s home is in North Minneapolis with her husband Larye, and two awesome kids, Myles and Lauryn.