A message for the week starting on Sunday 13 November 2022
Lectionary Week: The reign of Christ
Prescribed Texts: Jeremiah 23:1-6; Luke 1:68-79; Colossians 1:11-20; Luke 23:33-43
Focus Text: Jeremiah 23:1-6
Called To Be Shepherds
Our love for God will always show itself in our love and care for all God’s people. If we claim
to love God at the core of our being, we will love those whom God loves. Sadly, there are
many people who claim to love God with their whole heart and yet they show nothing but
contempt and hatred toward some of God’s children. Through Jeremiah God promised the
return of the remnant of God’s flock and the rise of good shepherds along with the coming
of the righteous branch of David, who would reign as King.
In the New Testament, Jesus is revealed as the true Shepherd of His people. The Shepherd
that is known by His flock. He is trusted, He provides all that they need, He lays down His
life for them.
As followers of Christ, we are called to pasturing and shepherding:
· In Matt 28:19 we are reminded that all Jesus’ followers are called to help shepherd
people to know Him and follow Him! Just like Peter, we are instructed by the risen Christ
that if we love Him, we should tend and feed God’s sheep.
· In 2 Peter 2: 9 we are reminded that all who belong to Christ are now a royal priesthood to declare His praises.
Through Jeremiah we can see that the love for God and love for people are so intimately connected, that we cannot separate it. We cannot claim to love Christ and, at the same time, persist in bitterness, spite, revenge, and gossip. We cannot claim to love Christ and continue to hate.
As Jesus sees it, all of us are called to do this task, to care for and love one another, to shepherd. Too often, we make the mistake of thinking that the task of shepherding is that of the minister of the church. And if we persist in seeing ministry as the special sole responsibility of the minister, we will miss what God has called His children to do.
God wants His followers to declare His righteousness. God wants shepherds who love and care enough about His people to speak the truth in good and bad times. God wants somebody who knows His Word and will declare it until the return of His Son, Jesus Christ.
God Himself will raise the shepherds that will care for His people. The shepherds will confess their sins and the sins of the people before God. Then the people will not fear, neither will they be dismayed nor refuse to come to worship God and fellowship with His saints.
To think about: Do we step up to the responsibilities that God has called us to? “Do we truly love God with all our hearts, soul, and mind?” If you answered “yes,” then feed God’s sheep.
Written by: Rev. Darrell Mackriel, trained Churches Channels of Hope (CCoH) facilitator, Minister of the Calvyn Protestant Church