Old Testament: Jeremiah 23:1-8
Morning Psalms: Psalms 95, 102
New Testament: Romans 8:28-39
Gospel: John 6:52-59
Evening Psalms: Psalms 107:1-32
There are many references in the Bible to flocks of sheep and their shepherds. Quite often, a story revolves around lost sheep and a good shepherd who returns them to the comfort and safety of the flock. Jeremiah 23 opens with such a story, but with a bit of a twist. It opens with bad shepherds, shepherds who are not taking proper care of their flock and, therefore, leading them away from the Word of God.
In modern times, there are many bad shepherds who can lead “sheep” away from the comfort and truth that is God’s Word. I must admit that I was a lost sheep for many years. From my mid-teens to my early forties, church and faith were very low on my priority list. I can’t think of any particular reason for this, other than the fact that many of the “shepherds” in my life didn’t think faith was of any importance. They weren’t bad people, just not good shepherds. Fortunately for me, I have found new shepherds at St. Matthew’s.
In verse 3, Jeremiah says that the Lord would “gather the remnant of my flock” and “bring them back to their pasture.” St. Matthew’s is my pasture now. Verse 4 of Jeremiah reflects my very personal feelings for St. Matt’s: The Lord says, “I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified.”
I am truly blessed to be part of this flock, in a pasture with many great shepherds.