The Scripture Readings this Sunday are:
- Psalm 23
- John 10:1-10
Early Thoughts: Do we need a shepherd? Why? Why do we sometimes chafe at that possibility?
What does a shepherd do? A shepherd guides. A shepherd leads. A shepherd protects. A shepeherd keeps the flock together. Do we need a shepherd?
Maybe the more important question is why we sometimes chafe at the suggestion that we could use a shepherd. I suggest that we don't like to be sheep (because sheep are not noted as being highly intelligent, self-sustaining animals in common discourse). I suggest we don't like to be "herded" (how many activities in life are often called "herding cats" because the participants who are too stubbornly independent?). I suggest we want to think we are in charge, that we are the herders rather than the flock, and after all, it is often frowned upon to "go with the herd".
But sometimes we need to find a balance between time as the herder and time as the herd. We need to accept guidance and leadership. We need to be reminded that someone sees the bigger picture. So yes, sometimes we need a shepherd.
This week I intend to walk through one of the most familiar passages in all of Scripture. We have heard Psalm 23 many times. But what does it really say? What wisdom might it have for us today?