Family Lenten Devotionals 2024
Essentials for the Journey
Week 4 of Lent – Shelter: Discovering Security

So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 

The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. 

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.

—John 10:7-14

Written by Cayanna Herrera, Director of Children’s Ministry

When I was little, my brothers, sister, and I loved to play in the woods. We would make trails to ride our bikes on, build forts, and play hide and seek. One of our favorite things to do was to practice building an ‘emergency shelter’ in case we ever got lost in the wilderness. I’m not sure why we thought we might get lost on the little piece of property our parents owned, but we were just sure that this was a skill we would someday need.  

One night, we decided that we wanted to sleep in one of our shelters in the woods. Once we got permission from our parents, our impromptu camping trip in the woods in our back yard began. We took our sleeping bags, pillows, and flashlights out to our little shelter and laid down to go to sleep. Suddenly, the shelter that seemed so safe, warm, and comforting in the light of day didn’t feel quite as secure. I could see where we had a hole or two in the roof of the shelter and could hear the little noises that small woodland creatures make in the dark. I did not feel safe! It wasn’t long before one by one, we abandoned our quest to sleep out in the woods and made our way back into the safety of our house and our snug beds. 

As I think back on this adventure, I wonder…where do you feel safe? Where do you feel most secure? What or who makes you feel safe and snug? Maybe your safe place is in your home. Maybe it is snuggled under your covers in your bed. Maybe you feel most safe sitting on a grown ups lap or curled in a blanked on your couch.  

In our scripture today, Jesus tells us that He is the gate. He is what makes us safe. He is our security. And that reminds me that with Jesus I am never alone. I can always talk to Him and know that He is listening and that helps me to feel safe, secure, and loved.  

Family Activity
List the places where you feel safe and secure. Ask your parents, aunties and uncles, or grandparents where they feel most safe and where they felt most safe and sheltered when they were your age.