Good morning to you on a foggy Friday
This week in Sunday School we will be looking at the concept of Jesus as the Shepherd of our souls.
I love that phrase.
Shepherd, Overseer, Guardian.
For a girl with a rebel heart by nature, I find no chaffing constrictions in those names for Jesus.
The connotations of all of those words ooze protection from harm, safe grazing, abundant provision.
I find comfort in knowing I will not wander so far that I am out of His sight, His reach, His care and His love.
Sometimes people within and outside the walls of the Church have confused Jesus with the flesh and blood men and women who serve vocationally or voluntarily in ministry roles.
Those shepherds should represent Christ well, but they are human and prone to sin themselves and so they disappoint, fail and in the worst case betray the flock.
Wounds are incurred and sometimes hurt sheep who need the tender care of Jesus vow to never get hurt again by His church.
What a perfect setup for the enemy of our souls to step in and use that line that has been working since Genesis 3…Did God really say…?
But let me tell you today if you have been wounded by a human representative of the Church of Jesus Christ what God really says about leaders who have abused their authority and about His care for you, little lamb.
“Woe to the shepherds of Israel, who have been feeding themselves! Shouldn’t the shepherds feed their flock?
You eat the fat, wear the wool, and butcher the fattened animals, but you do not tend the flock.
You have not strengthened the weak, healed the sick, bandaged the injured, brought back the strays, or sought the lost.
Instead, you have ruled over them with violence and cruelty.
They were scattered for lack of a shepherd; they became food for all the wild animals when they were scattered.
My flock went astray on all the mountains and every high hill. My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and there was no one searching or seeking for them. ….
Look, I am against the shepherds.
I will demand my flock from them and prevent them from shepherding the flock.
The shepherds will no longer feed themselves, for I will rescue my flock from their mouths so that they will not be food for them…
See, I myself will search for my flock and look for them. As a shepherd looks for his sheep on the day he is among his scattered flock, so I will look for my flock.
I will rescue them from all the places where they have been scattered…
I will tend them in good pasture, and their grazing place will be on Israel’s lofty mountains.
I will tend my flock and let them lie down.
This is the declaration of the Lord God.
I will seek the lost.
I will bring back the strays.
I will bandage the injured.
I will strengthen the weak.
I will shepherd them with justice.”from Ezekiel 34
God has a word for the flock as well, we are not to push and shove one another.
We are not to muddy up the pond for others who need a drink of living water.
We are not to be greedy in the pasture and we are to be gentle with the weaker ones and careful to encourage the strays.
And God finishes the passage by declaring He will install a Shepherd over us from the line of David.
One who will seek, guide, provide, and yes…
carry me on His shoulders when I am so broken I can no longer keep up with the flock…or so rebellious there is no other way to prevent me from full on destruction by my own hand.
Yes…this is my Good Shepherd.
The radaph love of God that pursues us is the tending love that watches over us.
How blessed we are <3