The Gospel reading, yesterday, Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Easter, spoke of the relationship between the Shepherd and his sheep between Jesus, the Good Shepherd, and his sheep, the Church
‘The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice;
I know them and they follow me.
I give them eternal life;
they will never be lost
and no one will ever steal them from me.
The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone,
and no one can steal from the Father.
The Father and I are one.’
Considered in a narrow way the relationship between shepherd and sheep can seem exclusive – separating the Church from the world. A broader reading of the Gospel in John, even in terms of this same imagery of shepherd and sheep reminds that the Lord’s care is broader, there are sheep not (yet) of this fold and they too are precious too him.
And precious too for the Church called to see in thefaces of these others, brothers and sisters in the family of God. God, the source of our Original Unity, seeks to shepherd us to a restored unity, with each other and in him.
We may get a taste for that unity in the Church – though even in the Church, on earth, we see signs of disunity and scandalous mutual antipathy between peoples. We need more than a taste and, whatever our handicap or disability, in the Church we are called to work for the deepest unity in the human family. Even in the Church!
- Where are you called?
- What are you called to work at?
Applique from Paul’s Place, an evangelical centre in Antalya, Turkey. (c) 2013, Allen Morris.