Gate of the Fold

Gate of the Fold

Sheep are a common image in the Bible for the people of God: crowd-following wanderers in need of someone to lead them, take care of them and bring them home. The hope of a “good shepherd” coming to do that is a recurring theme of the Old Testament. We are supposed to identify with the sheep in Jesus’ stories – and with their needs and their hope.

Advent reflection for 4 December

Reading: John 10:1-10

A larger sheep-pen, shared by several shepherds, would have a gate-keeper to ensure that sheep only came in to shelter or went out to pasture with their shepherd. In a smaller sheep-pen, with only one flock, the shepherd himself would be the gate-keeper. So the point of the two parables is the same.

Jesus apparently told the second parable because his audience didn’t understand the first one. He spells out the point of both parables plainly in verse 10: Jesus came that we might have life in all its fullness, rather than being robbed of a full life and destroyed. And if we still haven’t got the message, in verse 11 he says “I am the good shepherd” – the one you have been longing for, who will lead you, take care of you and bring you home.


Lord Jesus, thank you for being the fulfilment of our deepest hopes and dreams. Thank you that you did not leave us wandering but have came to lead us, take care of us and bring us home. Sorry for when we listen to the seductive lies of those that actually want to harm us instead of running from them. Please help us to listen to you and to go with you instead of trying to go around you. Amen.