It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Judging Shepherding, a Reflection on Ezekiel 34:14-24

"I will seek the lost," God promises. "I will strengthen the weak."

Consider who will benefit from the attention of the Lord God, the true shepherd.

Ezekiel reminds us that the shepherd has another duty, protecting the weak from predators. "The fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice."

"When did we see you hungry?" they asked Jesus.

The world may think that the well-fed and strong are those that have received God's blessings. Ezekiel and Matthew might ask whether they have usurped the blessings that were intended for all of God's flock.

Lectio Divina: Ezekiel 34:16

When we read in Ezekiel or Matthew about the coming judgment, do we read Final Judgment? That is, do we think these pronouncements are only about going to heaven or hell?

Consider that the judgment of the powerful and the consequent setting-aright is God's word to us of what our life on this earth would be like if we would just do what God has always wanted us to do.

Ezekiel says, "Your leaders have cared about themselves not their people. I am going to give you a new leader, a leader who will protect you, a leader that will carry out my will."

Even though they were not able to live out the promises and gifts, God continued to care for these people. God sent other shepherds, another Shepherd, and continues to be our Shepherd.

There may be one Shepherd, but Matthew's words indicate that all of us have been appointed assistant shepherds, and all of us are accountable for all the sheep.

Lectio Divina: Ezekiel 34:20-22

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