A vivid childhood memory 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 actually built! My father carefully parked his 1956 Lincoln Capri in one of the huge parking lots.
Then, hand-in-hand, moving through the turnstiles, buying a program, inching our way up those concrete ramps, squeezing through the musty, cavernous tunnels leading right out to the greenest grass I had ever seen. This was the playing field of the New York Yankees!
I couldn’t believe my eyes. Stadium lights so brilliant that daylight surely could never be brighter. Smells of hot dogs, peanuts and cotton candy waft in the air. Sounds of baseballs cracking off wooden bats, with mitts slapping in response to a ball going so fast. And then came the voice of the Yankees’ announcer, their only one for over 50 years.
The voice of Bob Sheppard. I can still hear his euphonious voice saying ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Yankee Stadium’. ‘And now batting for the Yankees, number 7, Mickey Mantle, number 7.’ Still gives me shivers.
The 10th chapter of John speaks of the shepherd. His sheep know his voice and follow him. It’s the voice of Jesus. ‘…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…’ (vs. 3,14,16).
As Bob Sheppard called each Yankee player by name, so Jesus knows each one of us, and calls us by name. We know His voice…from the Bible. Read it. Listen to the voice of the Shepherd! Do you hear Him calling your name?
We hear your voice, our Lord. And we love you. Amen.