As we turn to the scriptures this week we are invited in a special way to reflect of Christ as the Good Shepherd and to allow Him to shepherd us as His flocks. It is in moments like this that we need to hear and listen more closely to the Lord speaking to us, guiding us and moving us deeper into our relationship Him as Shepherd and head over our lives.
I am reminded through the scriptures that first and foremost God has not left us alone to fend for ourselves. That God loves us, he became one with us to lead us back to himself and Jesus is the Good Shepherd. In the midst of a culture of death, in a valley of tears and in times where truth is replaced by lies, and we become disillusioned by some leaders that not only fail to lead, but guide people on the wrong paths.
Today we are reminded that just prior to be led into captivity the people of Israel were being led astray by their leaders. The prophet Jeremiah was calling the priests and leaders to task for not being true leaders. For not keeping the covenant and turning away from the Lord.
“I myself will gather the remnant of my flock
from all the lands to which I have driven them
and bring them back to their meadow;
there they shall increase and multiply.
I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them
so that they need no longer fear and tremble;
and none shall be missing, says the LORD.”. Jer 23:4
This prophesy given by the Lord through the Prophet Jeremiah is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. And God is faithful through raising up from a shoot of David a new and eternal King, He Jesus the Christ continues to lead and guide His church through His shepherd.
Can we open our hearts and minds and allow Jesus to shepherd us? To lead and guide through the dangers of this passing world requires the shepherd that jesus calls forth to remain close to their sheep. We are called to listen to a Chiist the good Shepherd, and to listen to those who have been entrusted to us.
In Ezekiel 34 we hear “
I will save my flock so they can no longer be plundered; I will judge between one sheep and another.23k I will appoint one shepherd* over them to pasture them, my servant David; he shall pasture them and be their shepherd. I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David will be prince in their midst. I, the LORD, have spoken.l
Even when lost God brings us back. The shepherd giving his life for the sheep. There is great love and care of a shepherd over his flock. This great concern is reflected in the dedication and commitment to the sheep. When challenges face the shepherd and the flock they remain together. Sometimes the shepherd has to go and seek out those that are lost and fallen away from the fold.
When we find ourselves lost and wandering we can cry out to the Lord, He does not abandon us, He provides shepherds over His flock, He provides men who will love, cherish, seek out the sheep and truly guide them.
We are not alone, we are being guided to green pastures and live giving water. Although we may seem to be in a deserted place, our faith and trust in the Good Shepherd assures us and gives us the confidence we need to walk together as one flock.
Today let us also pray for our shepherds. So often we fail to lift them up in prayer, to support them and encourage them. So many are quietly loving us and supporting us. Let’s ask the Lord to bless all our Bishops and Pastors who have been entrusted with the care of the flock.