One of my most vivid childhood memories is of a trip to the Bronx in New York City to attend a night game at the old Yankee Stadium, the one I thought Babe Ruth had built all by himself!  I remember travelling the Cross-Bronx Expressway following the signs to the Stadium (you must know that Yankee Stadium is called ‘the Stadium’ to us back in the greater New York area as if there really is no other stadium or certainly no other of any consequence!), my father carefully parking his 1956 Lincoln Capri in one of the huge parking lots at the Stadium.  Then hand-in-hand walking together along with thousands of other people up to  and through the turn-stiles to have our tickets checked, then buy a program for that day’s game (who they were playing against meant nothing to this 9 year old as long as the Yankees were here in their Stadium!),  inching our way up those concrete ramps to the right level  squeezing through the musty, cavernous tunnels leading right out to the brightest, greenest grass I had ever seen.  There was the playing field of the New York Yankees! I could hardly believe my eyes.   The stadium lights were so brilliant  that daytime surely could never be brighter.  The smells of hot dogs and roasted peanuts and cotton candy flouted in the air.  The sounds of a baseball cracking off those white bats, and of mitts slapping in reaction to a hardball going so fast and being caught so well.  And then…oh yes, and then came the voice of the Yankees announcer, the man who announced their games for over 56 years.  The voice of Bob Sheppard.  I can still hear his euphonious voice announcing, ‘and now batting for the Yankees, number 7, Mickey Mantle, number 7’.  Still sends shivers up my spine.  And then Yogi and Phil and Whitey and Gil and Billy…and  more shivers and thrills with each Yankee player named by Bob Sheppard.   That 10th chapter of John’s Gospel tells us about sheep and the shepherd whose voice the sheep always know and follow.  It’s the very voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.  “…the sheep listen to his voice, He calls his own sheep by name and leads them…I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me…they too will listen to my voice…” (John 10:3,14,16).  Just as Bob Sheppard called out each Yankee player by name, so Jesus knows us, each one of His very own, and calls us into His service…by name. Your name, my name.   What’s more, He goes before us and leads us.   We follow because we know His voice. As you read the Bible more and more, you’ll hear the voice of our Lord Jesus.  Read it…hear it…pause over phrases that just grab you.  Listen…to the Voice of the Shepherd!  Do you hear Him calling, calling  your name?  

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