John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

There were some bad things that happened this week. Many people are asking why? Many more are asking what can we do about it?

Item 1 – a high school in Colorado, 12 die – no one is really certain why – now one is really certain how it could have happened – results in shock, fear, grief, anger.

Item 2 – collateral damage in Kosovo – its seems the smart bombs are not quite so smart – in Serbia, civilians dies as bomb hits apartment building, later a missile hits a passenger train – in Kosovo a bomb is accidentally dropped on a column of fleeing refugees – weren’t these the people we are supposed to be saving?

Item 3 – a women goes into an Ohio clinic for a routine procedure, due to complications, she is rushed to a hospital where she gives birth to a baby girl – as the poor baby is premature, and as the procedure was an abortion, the doctors do nothing, an emergency room technician holds the baby girl until she dies 3 hours later.

Why do these things happen? Well, our text tells us of a thief who is come, to steal, kill and destroy. It seems that this week the thief has been more visible that most. What can you do about this thief? Gun control isn’t going to help, Putting more criminals into more prisons isn’t going to help. Passing more laws is only going to make more people criminals, and isn’t going to help. For the thief our text talks about is the evil incarnate, the devil. Perhaps that is the greatest problem, because a good part of our world does not believe there is a devil – and in our country, there is a silly idea that people are basically good. I suppose its no sillier than the notion of evolution and that people are getting better and better – we’ve sure seen plenty of evidence of that!

What is the answer – what can help us deal with the rampant evil, with the devil and all his works and all his ways – what can help us when the thief is coming to steal, kill and destroy? Only 1 thing, and that is Jesus – Jesus came that we might have life, a good life, abundant life.

So how do we get this life?

Gospel creates faith - forgives sins – makes us a new creation – makes us children of God.

Gospel gathers us together – helps us to walk together – gives us a shepherd to guide us.

Gospel helps us to know the way – helps us to know the way – gives us a pastor to lead the church

As sheep we follow the shepherd

As sheep we learn to know the shepherds voice

And Jesus opens the door, that the shepherd might lead us to the green pastures

Which nourish the soul – which are the Word, and the Sacraments.

The world needs this relationship which is ours in Christ – nothing else can save them – nothing else can rescue them from the thief – nothing else can saved them from destruction – and so we guide the lost to the great shepherd and guardian – that they too might share in this abundant life which is ours in Christ Jesus.