Since 1969 millions of passengers on London’s underground have heard the regular announcement that they should ‘mind the gap between the platform and the train.’ But for Margaret McCollum, this announcement held special meaning because the voice in the recording was her husband’s. After he died, she continued to visit their local tube station to hear his voice and was devastated when a new system was installed, and his voice disappeared. She appealed to Transport for London who not only gave her a recording of her husband making the announcement but restored it to the station at Embankment. Now she could hear him again whenever she travelled.
Such is the comfort brought by hearing the familiar voice of a loved one. No wonder, then, that when Jesus was explaining to his friends the kind of relationship God wanted with them, he used the example of sheep who always recognise the voice of their shepherd. He told them that sheep only recognise and follow the voice of their shepherd and never the voice of a stranger. Not only that but Jesus the Good Shepherd had come with a special message for them and for us. Namely that we should mind the gap between us and God caused by sin; a gap that he had come to close.